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Capitol: Pills, PIP, Med-Mal

A bill that would allow the state’s cash-strapped prescription-drug database to receive funds from pharmaceutical companies is moving to the House floor for a vote, but the most significant part of the bill was stripped out: It no longer includes a requirement for doctors to check it, the Associated Press reports.

The measure would also reduce the number of days for a prescription for controlled drugs to be entered into the system from seven days to two.  State Rep. Mike Fasano, who sponsored the bill, hopes the House adopts the Senate’s version, which includes the requirement that doctors check the database at least when they write a prescription for a new patient.

Another bill that underwent a major change on Tuesday is one that makes it harder to sue for medical malpractice. The News Service of Florida reports that the House Judiciary Committee took out the most contentious clause, which would shield hospitals from lawsuits over mistakes by doctors and others who are independent contractors. The change is expected to improve its chances of passage.

In other legislative news, a move to overhaul the state’s no-fault auto insurance system has stalled, the News Service of Florida reports. The Senate Banking and Insurance committee refused to debate changes to personal injury protection insurance (PIP), which was overhauled last year but then put on hold by a judge. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.