With thousands of Floridians dying from opioid overdoses every year, state lawmakers took a step Friday to crack down on prescription pain pill abuse by curtailing the amount of pills doctors can prescribe.
Zac Anderson | Sarasota Herald-Tribune
The (Florida) Legislature passed one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top priorities and sent the bill to his desk to sign.
Patients with acute pain would be limited to a three-day supply of prescription opioids, or a seven-day supply if a doctor deems it “medically necessary.”
Florida medical examiners reported 5,725 opioid-related deaths in 2016, a 35 percent increase from the year before.
There were 211 deaths in the Sarasota-Manatee area in 2016 in which oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone or morphine — the drugs found in the most common prescription pain pills — were present in the person’s body.
State Rep. Jim Boyd, a Bradenton Republican who sponsored the opioid bill in the House, said Friday that the bill will “help fight this horrible epidemic.”
“I think we’ve come to a very good landing spot that will get the people in our communities the help they need,” Boyd said.
Some doctors have complained about the new limits, especially surgeons who perform complex procedures that can leave patients in significant pain.