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Bills: Cancer Pills, Drug Database, Guns

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Two important health bills are headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk: one that provides state money to keep the prescription drug database going, and another that requires insurers to cover oral chemotherapy drugs, not just cancer drugs that are administered by IV. 

At nearly the last minute, the Florida Legislature approved a measure to provide $500,000 in one-time funding for the drug database, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. The database is designed to fight pill mills and prescription drug abuse, but has never received state money to operate.

Meantime, lawmakers in both the House and Senate pushed for parity on insurance coverage for both oral and IV drugs, the Miami Herald reports. Patients usually prefer chemo via pill but they currently face high out-of-pocket costs, since most insurance covers only IV treatment.

Another bill on its way to Gov. Rick Scott would make it more difficult for people who are mentally ill to buy guns. While the law has the support of the NRA, gun owners are urging the governor to veto it, the Tampa Bay Timesreports.  

A different bill, one that would have regulated the parasailing industry, died in committee, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports (Editor’s note: May be blocked by paywall). Lawmakers have been pushing for more oversight since 2008, but failed again this session to enact any changes, despite a handful of deaths in parasailing accidents. 

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.