Gov. Rick Scott signs bill regulating 'pill mills' in Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE — Gov. Rick Scott has signed a new law aimed at controlling the state's "pill mills" by penalizing doctors who overprescribe painkillers, tightening rules for operating pharmacies and authorizing a prescription-drug monitoring database.

Scott signed the bill Friday in Fort Lauderdale and was to have other signing ceremonies in Tampa and Orlando.

Florida is considered the epicenter of prescription drug abuse, with pain-management clinics supplying drug dealers and addicts with illicit prescription painkillers. Many of those people come from out of state.

The Republican governor originally opposed the prescription-drug monitoring database, calling it a waste of money and an invasion of privacy. But Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi and several GOP legislators pushed for the database and Scott eventually agreed.

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