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Fla. Senate passes doctor-shopping bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Senate wants to slow down what it sees as rampant abuse of prescription drugs.

The Senate passed a bill Friday 39-0 that would authorize the state Department of Health to track prescription drugs handed out by pharmacies and clinics as part of a crackdown on "doctor shopping."

Pharmacies would be required to tell the state within 15 days who received the drugs and what drugs were prescribed.

Lawmakers say tougher standards are needed because of a growing number of deaths from legally prescribed drugs. Authorities say out-of-state residents from throughout the Southeast come to Florida to obtain narcotics because their home states track the drugs.

A similar House proposal still faces floor debate.