Unless you're a doctor or other medical professional, you may not have heard about the recent Florida laws intended to combat prescription drug abuse. It's common knowledge that Florida's state government is engaged in a tactical war on the addiction of prescription drugs--like Oxycodone and Xanax--and the state legislature had some big ideas on how to curb the problem.
The idea sounded simple at first. In 2009, they decided on a drug-monitoring database to help track inventories of addictive drugs. That was supposed to be up and running by December 2010 but it wasn't. And it still isn't. In May 2011, legislature passed the "Pill Mill" law, that would further complicate matters. The law mandated that, beginning July 1, 2011, physicians must use new counterfeit-proof prescription pads when prescribing certain drugs. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time for all physicians to comply with the new regulations and the legislature extended the deadline to August 30, 2011.
The Florida State Department of Health
estimates that over 50,000 Florida-licensed physicians prescribe controlled substances to treat their patients' medical needs. That's an awful lot of prescription pads.
So-- you're probably wondering why a local print shop is concerned about doctors' prescription pads, right?
We've been aware of the law since its passing because the State built a directory of Counterfeit-proof Pad Vendors, and we're in it. Basically, it's a list of companies that doctors can order these special prescription pads from who are equipped with the technology and approval to produce these unique numbered, registered prescription pads.
The new prescription pads look a lot like the old ones you're probably used to seeing from your doctor. However, the counterfeit-proof pads are called that because each sheet on the pad has a specially coded number that identifies the doctor, the print shop and the order number, which are all tracked separately to document who requested the prescription pads, who managed the print job, and who picked up the completed pads from the shop. Likewise, pharmacists identify and track these numbers as well when they fill your prescriptions.
The idea is that by watching every step of the process and keeping diligent records, there will be no opportunity for someone to produce "fake" prescription pads for controlled substances. Now that we're past the extended deadline of August 30, 2011, all physicians in the area who prescribe controlled substances should have counterfeit-proof prescription pads in their offices.
If you're a physician and you haven't yet identified a vendor for your prescription pads, consider working with a company that is local, family-oriented and already up to speed on the legal requirements for this new challenge. Consider getting Creative
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