Florida bill would allow physicians to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth

A bill is being proposed that would allow Florida physicians to prescribe some controlled substances via telehealth, WSFU reported Jan. 25.

State Rep. Tom Fabricio came up with the bill that would allow physicians to remotely prescribe drugs such as anabolic steroids, sedatives and stimulants.

In Florida, controlled drugs are classified in five categories. Drugs labeled schedule I have a high abuse rate and no accepted medical use, while the rest have potential for abuse but also can be used for medical purposes. Mr. Fabricio's bill would allow physicians to remotely prescribe those that fall under the schedule III through V categories.

Mr. Fabricio told the House committee that this bill would provide better access to lifesaving medications as patients who have more serious medical conditions can't afford to skip medications, the report stated.

The bill is currently on its way to be looked at by both chambers, according to the report. 

Current Florida state law does not allow physicians to prescribe controlled substances via telehealth, and federal law requires physicians to have evaluated a patient in person before prescribing any controlled substances.

Last year, a similar proposed bill was approved by the House but not the Senate.

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