Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Renamed
The Florida Department of Health has announced the long-awaited Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, created by legislation sponsored by State Senator Mike Fasano in 2009, will be given a new name. The database, which will track the dispensing of certain controlled substances, will be known as E-FORCSE (Electronic-Florida Online Reporting Controlled Substance Evaluation). The statewide monitoring program is scheduled to “go-live” on October 1, 2011.
E-FORCSE is the product of Health Information Designs, a medical software company that contracted with the Department of Health to provide the program and training needed to make and keep it operational. Once the database is up and running Florida law requires that information must be entered into the database no later than 7 days after medications are dispensed. Under recent changes to law the vast majority of the requisite medications will be dispensed through licensed pharmacies.
“The ultimate goal of the program is to save lives by preventing doctor-shopping, diversion and misuse of potentially addictive drugs,” Senator Fasano states. “Historically, seven people die each day due, at least in part, to the effects of controlled substances. E-FORCSE will help health care professionals make sure legitimate patients get the medications they need while cracking down on those who break the law to secure drugs that they either sell or illegally abuse.”
The database was statutorily required to be up and running by December 1, 2010. However, a contract dispute lodged by a vendor that was not chosen prevented the state and the winning vendor from signing an agreement. The bid protest was dropped this past spring and the chosen vendor was able to move forward. Due to the contracting delay nearly 10 months worth of data have not been collected. E-FORCSE has asked that all data from December 1, 2010 to the day the program becomes operational be submitted to the database no later than November 30, 2011.
“It has been a long time coming, ”Senator Fasano comments on the database’s impending start. “The day the program becomes operational is the day that marks Florida’s step into a brand new future of both patient care and safety.”