In a state with the second highest incidence of drug overdose deaths in the nation, I am surprised that this type of legislation is getting steam. 

I’ve written before about physicians prescribing drugs and dispensing themselves.  Chapter 440 has specific language that forbids an E/C from choosing a pharmacy for Claimant.  Per s. 440.13(3)(j), a Claimant “shall be entitled, at all times, to free, full, and absolute choice in the selection of the pharmacy or a pharmacist dispensing and filling prescriptions for medicines under [Chapter 440].” 

Some doctors were taking advantage of this provision by dispensing the drugs themselves and charging E/C’s exorbitant amounts for said drugs.  A trial court ruling seemed to hamper into such schemes (See Bonanno v. Diocese of Venice Epiphany Cathedral Catholic Church.)

Now there is pending legislation that would make it legal for doctors to control the dispensing of drugs. 

Bad idea.

CS/HB 511, mandates that if a physician is a pharmacy under  s. 465.0276, then the Employer/Carrier cannot select the pharmacy for Claimant.  This gives a pain management doctor the same economic protection as Walgreens or CVS.

Look, I have no beef with physicians.  And, I have no problem with Claimant’s being able to choose what pharmacy can fill their prescriptions. I just believe that there should be a system of checks and balances with prescription drugs.  Clearly, Florida’s history with overprescribing is well documented.   Do we really need to give doctors (and potential “pill mills”) unfettered power over potentially deadly prescription drugs?  Why does the Legislature feel the need to empower doctors even more than they already are?  Is this legislation even necessary?

Allowing doctors unchecked discretion in prescribing and dispensing drugs is a recipe for disaster.

You can check out the text of House Bill 511 here.