ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Thursday spoke out against a Florida bill sponsored by state Rep. Rob Schenck, R-District 44, which would restrict the dispensing of controlled substances on Schedule II and III to publicly traded pharmacy chains and pharmacies that have more than $100 million in taxable revenues, or only those independent community pharmacies that have been in business more than 10 years.
The bill, H.B. 7095, was passed by the Florida House of Representatives Judiciary Committee by a vote of 12-to-6. Florida Senate president Mike Haridopolos, R-District 26, promised the bill would not survive Senate scrutiny, according to published reports.
The bill, created to deal a blow to the illegal “pill mills” in the state, would also cap the number of doses of such drugs that can be delivered to each pharmacy at 5,000 per month and require the use of tamper-proof prescription pads or electronic prescribing for all controlled substances.
“This bill is misguided and does a great disservice to patients under the guise of drug diversion,” stated Kathleen Jaeger, NCPA EVP and CEO. “There is no credible evidence to suggest that drug diversion occurs at a higher level in independent community pharmacies than that of chains. Creating an uneven competitive playing field does nothing to advance the resolution of the underlying drug diversion issue and forces many patients to leave their trusted independent community pharmacist to obtain their prescriptions at chain pharmacies.”
NCPA noted that almost 14,000 Floridians work across the more than 1,300 independent community pharmacies located in the Sunshine State. “With Florida’s unemployment rate at 11.5% and state leaders grappling with crippling revenue shortfalls, it would be incredibly short-sighted for the legislature to put its thumb on the scales against local, family-owned pharmacies,” Jaeger added.