The opioid epidemic has been ravaging the United States for several years now and it does not seem to be slowing down. Although many would like to think that it will not happen to them or someone they love, the issue is more common than most people realize, which is why Florida’s opioid epidemic continues to be a major cause for concern. Although statistics show that drug overdoses have decreased throughout the country, prescription drug abuse is still a rampant problem.
Gov. DeSantis Signs New Law to Help Curb Florida’s Opioid Epidemic
Earlier this year, Governor DeSantis signed a bill that would help Attorney General Moody to sue drug manufacturers for their role in the opioid crisis. Not only can the Attorney General sue manufacturers, but they can also go after pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS. The latter already came to fruition in late 2018. Now, with the new law in place, it will make the process smoother for Miami opioid overdose attorneys looking for justice for their clients. The law also requires prescribing physicians to hand out pamphlets to patients discussing alternative pain treatment. This new law (HB 451) officially went into place on July 1, 2019.
Florida nurse anesthetists backed the implementation of the new information pamphlets while the Florida Medical Association (FMA) seemed to have given some pushback on the matter. FMA argued that the contents of the pamphlet were not clear and argued this made it more difficult to communicate to patients.
OxyContin Maker Files for Bankruptcy
Florida’s opioid laws and initiatives seem to be making an impact. Purdue Pharma filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 15, 2019, due to over 2,600 lawsuits both at the federal and state level. The company is hoping that by filing for bankruptcy and restructuring the company, this will stay or pause their legal matters. Purdue claims it will implement new programs to help combat the opioid epidemic through their company restructuring. The new bankruptcy filing will not stop community and legal efforts fighting the crisis. Many states are not backing down however and are continuing to push back on the company that is said to have been an integral part in Florida’s opioid epidemic as well as the national epidemic.
Miami-Dade Opioid Task Force
To further help the crisis locally, the Opioid Addiction Task Force in Miami was founded to “develop an effective action plan that addresses the reduction of opioid and heroin addiction, prevents overdose deaths and improves the quality of life in our community.” In a recent study, the group found that the majority of Florida’s opioid overdoses happen near downtown Miami where many of the illicit drugs are sold. The task force is looking at strategies to combat this issue.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of the Florida opioid epidemic contact our office at (305) 662-6178 or by filling out our online contact form here.
Associated Press. (2019, June 26). Gov. DeSantis Signs New Florida Laws on Street Racing, Opioids And Gardens. Retrieved from https://news.wjct.org/post/gov-desantis-signs-new-florida-laws-street-racing-opioids-and-gardens
Drouet, J. (2019, July 23). While drug overdoses are down, opioid epidemic is still a public health crisis. Retrieved from https://news.fiu.edu/2019/while-drug-overdoses-are-down,-opioid-epidemic-is-still-a-public-health-crisis
Florida, N. S. of. (2019, August 13). Florida Nurse Anesthetists Back Law on Opioid Abuse. Retrieved from https://wlrn.org/post/florida-nurse-anesthetists-back-law-opioid-abuse
Gainey, B. (2019, August 29). North Florida Appointees Join Task Force To Stop Opioid Epidemic. Retrieved from https://news.wfsu.org/post/north-florida-appointees-join-task-force-stop-opioid-epidemic
Herman, R. (2019, September 11). Florida Health Care Providers Potentially in Peril When Seeking Patient Referrals. Retrieved from https://law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/09/11/florida-health-care-providers-potentially-in-peril-when-seeking-patient-referrals/?slreturn=20190816115434
Hoffman, J., & Walsh, M. W. (2019, September 16). Purdue Pharma Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Retrieved from https://nytimes.com/2019/09/15/health/purdue-pharma-bankruptcy-opioids-settlement.html