The Florida PDMP Foundation, Inc.
Legislature Establishes Foundation to Fund State PDMP Database
Prior to 2009, many of Florida’s city governments, especially in Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa, had an epidemic on their hands. The Federal Centers for Disease Control labeled our state the epicenter of prescription drug diversion because it had weak regulatory oversight of pain management practices, limited regulation of physician dispensing habits and, most importantly, no prescription drug monitoring program. Florida became known as the “Pill Mill” capital of the country.
According to DEA statistics, the Sunshine State had over 900 unregulated pain management clinics in 2010. The data also showed that these clinics employed 90 of the top 100 oxycodone dispensing physicians in the country. Of the top 50 oxycodone dispensing clinics in the U.S., 49 were located in Florida. Forty-five of the clinics were centered in Broward County and were selling more than 1 million oxycodone pills a month. Before new regulations were enacted by the Florida legislature, it was projected from state medical examiners reports that about 10 persons each day died of prescription drug overdose, primarily due to oxycodone abuse. [Note: All pain management clinics are not pill mills, but pill mills often represent themselves as pain management clinics, i.e., pain management is a legitimate medical practice subverted by a small number of medical practitioners for illegal and unprofessional purposes.]
Things began to turn around when the 2009 legislature passed a bill adopting regulations for establishment and operation of pain management clinics, standards of care for physicians in dealing with patient pain management and mandatory registration of clinics. In addition, the legislation authorized the establishment of a prescription drug monitoring program (“PDMP”), making Florida the 39th state to have this critically important database. A statewide task force, under the direction of the state attorney general, was also approved to close illegally operating pain management clinics and take legal action against criminal violations.
Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program, E-FORCSE (the Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation), began operation in 2011. The database is managed by the Department of Health, and its yearly $500,000 operating budget is raised through a non-profit, tax exempt, Direct Support Organization foundation. Because of the new PDMP law, dispensers of controlled substances must report all transactions within seven days. Health care practitioners may access the system for free after registering, helping them manage patient treatment plans. Law enforcement officials may obtain data from E-FORCSE when investigating active cases.
The PDMP Foundation board of directors, appointed by the state surgeon general, is seeking funding support from health care practitioners, corporations, law enforcement agencies and private partners for the database’s continued operations and to build an E-FORCSE Endowment fund.. In 2013-2014 the foundation received over $180,000 in contributions from its supporters. In addition, the Department of Health was provided a one-time $500,000 allocation from the legislature to keep the database operational.
Attorney General Provides Foundation with Major Contribution
During the 2014 legislative session a bill that would have funded the state PDMP from Board of Pharmacy Trust Funds failed. Following close of the session there was a question as to whether the E-FORCSE database could continue operations past October 2014.
The Florida PDMP Foundation, Inc.
Bob Macdonald, Executive Director
10801 Starkey Road, #104-221
Seminole, FL 33777