Reacting to a congressional panel on the “pill mill pipeline”, Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway praised Florida Governor Rick Scott for supporting the creation of a prescription drug monitoring system in his state.
On Thursday, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear told WFPL that Scott assured him that Florida would initiate a drug monitoring system similar to the one in Kentucky. The two governors were in Washington, testifying before the House Energy and Commerce committee on the issue.
In February, Scott proposed cutting the program that was approved by the Florida state legislature two years ago, citing budget deficits and privacy concerns.
Conway and Mongiardo joined Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., in urging Scott to rethink his position. Conway went further, and wrote an editorial in a Florida newspaper, asking residents to take a stand against their governor.
From Mongiardo’s office:
“I was thrilled Governor Steve Beshear had a chance to speak before lawmakers in Washington, D.C. today about the ever- increasing prescription drug problem facing our Commonwealth. I was even more excited to hear that Florida Governor Rick Scott, after weeks of persuasion, has agreed to implement a prescription drug monitoring system in that state.
For too long the illegal prescription drug pipeline from Florida to Kentucky has been taking its toll on our people. Governor Scott’s decision to allow Florida to implement a prescription drug monitoring system is a key component in getting a handle on this problem and hopefully shutting down those clinics that are nothing more than pill dispensaries of death.”
From Conway’s office:
“I was pleased to learn today that Florida Gov. Rick Scott has apparently reconsidered his plan to eliminate a prescription database monitoring program (PDMP) in Florida. I am heartened that the concerns I communicated to Gov. Scott and to Florida residents in a recent Letter to the Editor have been heard loud and clear. In testimony today before the United States House of Representatives, Gov. Scott confirmed that despite his privacy concerns, Florida’s Department of Health has begun to implement the database, similar to Kentucky’s KASPER system.
His actions will likely help shut down the prescription pill pipeline that runs from Florida to Kentucky. In fact, our law enforcement officers estimate 60 percent of illegal pain pills on the streets of Kentucky right now are from Florida. I have no doubt the implementation of electronic monitoring in Florida will help save lives in Kentucky.
I have been joined in this fight by numerous others, including U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers, Gov. Steve Beshear and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, whom I have worked closely with to shut-down the “pill pipeline” between Florida and Kentucky.
Be assured, I will continue to work closely with local, state and federal authorities, as well as my fellow attorneys general, to ensure that prescription drug monitoring programs are implemented in all 50 states.”