Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Florida's Crackdown on Pill Mills "Remarkable Success"

Jul 3, 2014
Press Release

Drug Deaths Drop by 26 Percent

Congressman Vows to Continue Fight vs. Drug Abuse

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, the author of federal legislation to tighten restrictions on deadly narcotics, praised state officials today for reducing Florida’s prescription drug epidemic. Buchanan noted a new government study revealing a sharp decline in prescription drug deaths throughout the state of Florida – the most significant drop in 10 years.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported this week that fatalities involving Oxycotin, Vicodin and other narcotic painkillers dropped by 26 percent from 2010 to 2012 after the state began strengthening prescribing laws and cracking down on pill mills.

“I applaud Attorney General Bondi and the Florida legislature for making great strides on such a critical issue,” said Buchanan. “It is truly a remarkable success. We are one step closer to curbing an epidemic that wreaks havoc on countless families and communities across our state.”

Buchanan said even the CDC drew a direct link between Florida’s policy changes and the drop in prescription drug overdoses.

"The results from Florida show that state action can make a difference, and confirms the tight correlation between prescribing and deaths,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. “These changes may well represent the first documented substantial decline in drug overdose mortality in any state in the past 10 years.”

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) adopted Buchanan’s proposal (H.R. 1285) to reschedule hydrocodone combination drugs from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug – making them more difficult to prescribe and obtain. Having just completed its 60 day public comment period, the DEA will now review the comments before setting an effective date for the rescheduling of the highly addictive narcotic.

Click here for CDC study