State Capital Briefs (Morning Edition): Wednesday, April 6
The News Service of Florida
Amid a debate about putting restrictions on physicians, the House has approved a bill that would place a five-day limit on initial prescriptions for pain medication. House members voted 93-22 on Wednesday to pass the bill (HB 557), sponsored by Rep. Nicholas Duran, D-Miami. The bill, which also includes changes related to the state's prescription-drug monitoring program, would limit initial prescriptions of opioids to five-day supplies. But it drew debate from Rep. Julio Gonzalez, a Venice Republican who is an orthopedic surgeon. Gonzalez said he opposes the bill because it is "offensive to being a physician." He said the bill would regulate physicians who are acting in good faith and keep them from providing care that patients need. But supporter Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, called the opposition "misguided" because of widespread problems with opioid overdoses. Duran said physicians would be able to write lengthier prescriptions after the initial five-day supplies.