TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's prescription drug tracking system finally is up and running.
The data base began accepting information Thursday after overcoming political, legal and financial obstacles.
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is part of the state's effort to crack down on "pill mills" that supply painkillers to drug dealers and addicts.
Florida is one of the last states to adopt such a system.
Law enforcement officials say that's one reason why Florida has become the nation's leading supplier of prescription drugs for illicit use.
It first was hampered by a lack of state funding, relying instead on federal grants and private contributions.
Then it was delayed by a contract dispute.
Finally, Gov. Rick Scott tried to kill it. He relented when the Florida Senate refused to repeal the law that created it.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)