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.]
In 2009, the 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. As of June 2017, the database has collected over 200M controlled substance patient records. Over 3.5M prescriptions are received per month. The system has over 40,000 registered practitioners and 1,300 law enforcement officials that are eligible to use the PDMP at no cost. The database is managed by the Department of Health. Its yearly operating budget is raised from funds allocated by the legislature, federal and state grants and contributions received by the PDMP Foundation. Because of the new PDMP law, dispensers of controlled substances must report all transactions within 24 hours or the next working day. 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 Foundation board of directors, appointed by the State Surgeon General, seeks funding support from health care practitioners, corporations, law enforcement agencies and private partners to assist in the databases continued operations. Since its formation, the PDMP Foundation has raised over $2.2M to fund E-FORCSE operation.
The Florida PDMP Foundation, Inc.
Bob Macdonald, Executive Director
10801 Starkey Road, #104-221
Seminole, FL 33777