U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-13), the author of federal legislation to crack down on illegal "pill mills," today praised the Florida Legislature for passing a bill aimed at tackling the state's prescription drug epidemic. The measure now goes to Governor Scott for his signature.
"I applaud the members of the Florida House and Senate for taking action on such a critical issue," said Buchanan, Florida's only member of the powerful Ways & Means Committee. "Now, more than ever, we need to shut down these "pill mills" that bring untold misery to our children, our families, and our communities."
Among other things, the state passed bill advances Florida's plan to establish a statewide prescription drug tracking system and also imposes new limits on pharmacies.
Buchanan's federal legislation, "The Pill Mill Crackdown Act," is supported by more than 50 members of Congress from both parties. It includes provisions to: support state-based prescription drug monitoring programs; use the money from seized illicit operations for drug treatment; strengthen prescription standards for certain addictive pain drugs; and toughen prison terms and fines for pill mill operators.
Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi, a strong advocate in the fight against illegal pill mills, recently endorsed Buchanan's bill:
"Shutting down pill mills requires a comprehensive plan that includes the commitment of every level of government and law enforcement," said Bondi. "I applaud Congressman Vern Buchanan for fighting for federal legislation to provide law enforcement with the necessary tools to aggressively combat this epidemic. I urge Congress to pass these much-needed reforms."