Change to Florida opioid law goes into effect Monday

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses, and many lawmakers are getting more aggressive to try to combat the opioid epidemic.

Beginning Monday, Florida doctors and pharmacies will have 24 hours to enter information into a statewide electronic database – a change from the previous seven-day time allowance.

Florida lawmakers are mulling over a bill that would require doctors and pharmacies to report opioid prescriptions before they write them.

Recent research shows that very few Florida doctors are signed up for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

In 2016, research conducted at the University of Florida showed just 21 percent of doctors and 57 percent of pharmacists in the state had signed up for the monitoring program.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the number of entries in the system last year increased 30 percent – with an average of 6,000 dispensers reported to the database each month.

Many doctors say under the opioid crackdown, they are more cautious about prescribing painkillers, hurting those who would benefit from the drugs.

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