Sharing our perspective

Sharing perspectives leads to greater understanding and fuels innovation. The ​Optum Insights ​blog is where we share our perspective and challenge preconceptions to clear a new path forward.

Florida Governor intends to propose legislation to tackle opioids

Optum Workers' Comp
| Oct 02, 2017

With the continuing focus increasing on opioids nationwide, Florida Governor Rick Scott recently announced intention to propose major legislation and significant budget funding to combat opioid abuse in Florida.

Similar to recent legislation in other states, the proposed legislation will include a three-day limit on opioid analgesic prescriptions (unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply). Also included will be a requirement for all prescribers and dispensers to participate in the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), requiring continuing education courses on responsibly prescribing opioid analgesics, the creation of new opportunities for federal grant funding and additional reforms to fight unlicensed pain management clinics. The proposed budget funding will be to fund substance abuse treatment as well as counseling and recovery services.

Prior to this announcement, in May, Governor Scott signed an executive order declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency across the state, permitting state access to federal grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He also signed a bill in June creating new and enhanced penalties relating to synthetic opioids. More details regarding the program will be available in the coming weeks. We commend Governor Scott and other officials in the state for taking steps to address the opioid epidemic. These initial state-wide proposals are good steps in the right direction to start tackling the issue.

Our Government Affairs team actively monitors legislative and regulatory proposals in Florida and all other jurisdictions and we will certainly monitor this legislation once it is introduced and moves through the process.

Governor Scott’s announcement can be viewed here. Should you have questions about this topic, please contact Kevin Tribout at 813-627-2445 or our Government Affairs team at For assistance in evaluating a claimant’s medication therapy or to ask a question of a clinical nature, please use our Ask-A-Pharmacist resource, contact your clinical services team at 1-877-275-7674 ext. 8612.