Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today issued a statement calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to develop and maintain a prescription drug database in order to help stop the migration of prescription drugs to West Virginia.
"Gov. Scott has an opportunity to help his constituents and work collaboratively with other states to halt the spread of powerful prescription drugs and keep them out of the wrong hands. I join the call, made by several other leaders across the country, to encourage him to do so," Gov. Tomblin said. "If Florida implements their prescription drug database law, there will be less opportunity for these drugs to come into West Virginia where they end up causing addiction and often death. In 2009, the Department of Health and Human Resources reports more than 300 people died in West Virginia due to a non-prescribed legal drug overdose.
Prescription drugs are necessary to heal the sick but far too often these drugs are misused with deadly results. Families are heartbroken and torn apart, communities suffer and America as a whole loses. West Virginia is taking on this fight here at home and we need other states, like Florida, to do their part.
Like several other states, here in West Virginia we have policies and laws that govern prescription drugs and yet the problem persists. Enacting a prescription drug database in Florida, just as many other states have done, is the responsible step toward reducing the misuse of prescription drugs and protecting our most impressionable citizens, our youth. As leaders of our states, we must do what is best for our constituents both inside and outside our state borders. I call upon Gov. Scott to recognize that we are all Americans and we have a responsibility to act where we see action is needed."
On Friday, February 25, 2011, Governor Tomblin will join the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia for a roundtable discussion on prescription drug abuse at 8:30 a.m. in the University of Charleston's Geary Student Union.