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Amid Calls to Retain Prescription Tracking System, Florida Legislature Convenes This Week

The Florida Legislature convenes Tuesday, and the body will take up an issue that's of importance to Kentucky.Florida Governor Rick Scott has proposed cutting the state's yet-to-be-implemented prescription tracking system. Various federal and Kentucky officials have asked Scott to reconsider, saying that Florida pill mills are the source of many of the prescription drugs abused in Kentucky.Prescription abuse is often discussed as a concern in rural areas. But Sergeant Stan Salyards with the Louisville Metro Police Department says it's a problem in Louisville, too."I was over the prescription drug unit here for about a year and a half and it's extremely, extremely bad, just like it is throughout the whole Commonwealth of Kentucky. I would say it probably is right up there, almost number one if not number two of the areas of responsibility we have to look at," he says. "A lot of [Kentuckians], they're still taking the van loads down to Florida and bringing those back. Oxycodone, and derivatives thereof. We're starting to see a lot of prescriptions for Oxycodone, which most of that's coming out of Florida."Scott has said he's concerned about the program's cost and how private the information would be. Salyards says the prescription-tracking system can be used in a way that protects privacy. Kentucky has such a system in place.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.