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House backs attorney general access to drug database

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The House on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would give the attorney general access to information in a state prescription-drug database that could help in litigation against the pharmaceutical industry.

The Attorney General’s Office last year filed a lawsuit against the industry because of the opioid epidemic.

The bill (HB 1253), sponsored by Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, would allow Attorney General Ashley Moody to have access to information in the database that could help provide evidence in civil cases.

The prescription-drug database was created to prevent “doctor shopping” by drug abusers and traffickers and includes information about prescribing and dispensing controlled substances.

The bill passed Monday includes measures to protect patient privacy, such as shielding patient identities.

A similar Senate bill (SB 1700) has cleared two committees and is in the Rules Committee as the annual legislative session is poised to end Friday.