Monday, May 6, 2013

Pill Mills Moving from Florida to Georgia

At the beginning of 2012, prescriptions written at "pain centers" or "pain management clinics" were responsible for at least 7 Floridians dying every day. Thanks to a combination of actions taken by legislators and law enforcement statewide, the number of overdose deaths is finally declining and indicators show that the Florida doctors are practicing medicine, particularly pain management, responsibly.

Meanwhile, in Georgia  the number of mills has surged more than tenfold since the crackdown in Florida and other southern states. The DEA is investigating anyone who moved from Florida to Georgia and opened a pain clinic, but new ones keep poppingup. The legislature might want to take note of Florida's success, and copy some of their tactics, including:

  • Entering data in and querying the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Database
  • Passing laws against doctors selling oxycodone, opening "pain clinics"
  • Passing laws against drug distributors and pharmacies that sell high volumes of controlled substances
  • Committing sufficient resources to prosecute over-prescribing doctors and individuals involved in the prescription pill trade
The last part is critical. The legislature has passed a PDMP law, but the system is not yet up and running. Lawmakers are considering legislation to require stricter licensing for pain clinics, but it's not clear how this program would be managed. 

1 comment:

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