On Thursday, I testified before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee at a hearing on “Prescription Drug Diversion: Combating the Scourge.” Congresswoman Bono Mack invited me to testify due to Florida’s crucial role in combating prescription drug abuse. With more than seven Floridians dying a day, I have made ridding our state of this horrific epidemic my top priority.
I discussed Florida’s comprehensive legislation, law enforcement operations, and prevention strategies that are curbing prescription drug abuse and drug diversion in Florida. In 2010, 98 of the top 100 dispensing physicians of oxycodone in the nation resided in Florida. Today, only 13 of the top 100 dispensing physicians reside in Florida. Additionally, last year Florida had more than 900 pain management clinics registered within the state, but now there are less than 580.
We are making great strides, but the fight is not over. This legislative session I am working with Senator Negron and Representative Stargel on a bill to create a Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns. The task force would be charged with examining the scope of the problem, the costs associated with caring for babies with neonatal withdrawal syndrome, the long-term effects of the syndrome, and strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse by expectant mothers. A thorough examination of this emerging problem now will help us develop sound prevention strategies for the future.
Thursday’s hearing was a wonderful opportunity to meet with national leaders to discuss this serious public safety threat facing our country. It takes a combined effort on local, state and federal levels to make a difference.
FTC and Florida Attorney General’s Action Leads to Court Orders Banning Marketers from Selling Vacation Packages
The operators behind a vacation prize scheme are banned from selling vacation packages under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office, which charged the defendants with tricking consumers into believing they had won a vacation package as a prize and then failing to provide the package as promised. The settlements resolve the case, which was brought as part of the FTC's Hispanic Law Enforcement Initiative. Click here read more.
Attorney General Bondi’s Office Arrests Home Health Aide for Defrauding Medicaid out of More Than $35,000
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that a Broward county resident is in custody after being charged with defrauding the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $35,000. Clifford Edouard, 53, a home health aide for National Nursing Pool, Inc. in Miramar, was arrested today on a felony warrant by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Click here to read more.
Upholding the Constitution
Attorney General Pam Bondi and the 25 Other States Challenging the Federal Health Care Law File Reply Brief on Anti-Injunction Act
Attorney General Bondi and the 25 other states challenging the federal health care act filed a reply brief with the United States Supreme Court arguing that the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the Court from considering the States' challenge to the individual mandate.
“The Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the Court from considering the challenge to the individual mandate because the Act imposes a 'penalty' on those who fail to get coverage, not a 'tax',” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “The federal government severely undermines its claim that Congress can impose the mandate under its taxation powers.” Click here to read more.
Attorney General Bondi with the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske (right), and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (left) at the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee hearing “Prescription Drug Diversion: Combating the Scourge."