Warning labels for prescription opioids proposed under bill

opioid crisis

All opioid prescription containers sold at pharmacies would need red warning labels stating the addictive nature of the drug under a bill sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Geller.

“With such a large portion of our citizens exposed to these prescriptions, adding these common sense protections for those receiving opioids is a small step we can take to save the lives of our fellow Floridians,” said Geller, a Democrat from Aventura.

The bill (HB 605) was referred to three committee stops in the House, but has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

Geller said Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat, is expected to file a companion bill in the Senate.

Under Geller’s bill, the Department of Health would need to create a pamphlet to be distributed to people who receive opioid prescriptions. Pharmacies would also be required to show all customers the warning in a display rack.

New figures released this month show that deaths in which opioids were present in a person’s body at the time of death, or when a drug was determined to be the cause of death, saw a 35-percent increase in the past two years.

Geller’s bill is one effort proposed by state lawmakers this year to address the deadly epidemic.

Toward the end of last Session, the Legislature took action to curtail the distribution of opioids, cracking down on those who supply them by giving them heftier sentences if caught with fentanyl or carfentanil.

Ana Ceballos

Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.


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