U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers has urged Florida's governor to back away from a proposal to cancel a planned prescription-drug monitoring system that could help cut the tide of pills flowing from Florida to be abused in Kentucky and other states.
In a strongly worded letter, Rogers told Scott that Florida's pain clinics have become a key source of illegally diverted pills for Appalachia and the entire East Coast.
State monitoring programs, such as the one Florida has approved but not implemented, are valuable in combating diversion of pills at a time when prescription-drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country, Rogers told Scott.
Rogers said he was "alarmed and dismayed" at reports indicating Scott wants to repeal Florida's monitoring program.
"On behalf of my constituents, who continue to suffer from out-of-control and escalating prescription drug diversion originating from your state, I respectfully ask that you reverse your position on the value of and unquestionable need" for the monitoring system, Rogers said in the letter. "Now is not the time to back down from this life or death challenge."
Rogers' office released a copy of the letter Friday.
Florida has become a source for diverted pharmaceuticals because it has hundreds of pain clinics and no system to track the prescriptions people get, as more than 30 other states have.
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