Beshear asks Fla. governor not to cancel drug monitoring system

bestep@herald-leader.comFebruary 23, 2011 

Gov. Steve Beshear has asked his counterpart in Florida to reconsider a call to scrap a monitoring system that could help stem the flow of prescription pills from Florida to Kentucky.

Beshear's office faxed a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday.

Scott was unfazed Tuesday by criticism he's getting from out-of-state politicians over his proposal to kill a proposed prescription tracking system designed to crack down on "pill mills" that supply pain killers and other illicit medications to drug dealers and addicts.

Scott said he won't withdraw his budget recommendation to repeal the state's new prescription monitoring law.

"I don't support the database," Scott said at a news conference. "I believe it's an invasion of privacy."

Florida lawmakers approved a system to track prescriptions similar to one in Kentucky, which doctors can use to make sure people aren't getting prescriptions from multiple sources. Police also use it to investigate drug diversion.

Florida has hundreds of pain clinics and no system to track prescriptions filled there. The state is a source of pills diverted for illegal sale and abuse throughout Appalachia and along the East Coast, police say.

Beshear said some Kentucky authorities estimate 60 percent of the pills diverted for illegal use in Kentucky come from Florida.

Earlier Tuesday, Beshear said if Scott can't meet with him about the issue at an upcoming national conference, he would go to Florida to discuss the issue.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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