Get your fill of the “Pill Mill” thrill before someone passes a bill…

According to that bastion of Georgia news, the Wall Street Journal, Florida’s crackdown on pain medication dispensaries, “pill mills” in the vernacular, has pushed those business up into our fair state. The business have grown in Georgia from fewer than 10 in 2010 to more than 125 now. Expect that to continue, because Florida is now tracking controlled substance sales and other measures to combat the problem.

from the WSJ:

In contrast, Georgia failed to vote this year on a proposed law requiring pain clinics to be owned by medical professionals. It has no law that empowers the state’s medical board to close shady operators and suspend the licenses of unscrupulous doctors. The Peach State also lacks a database that tracks the number of prescriptions each clinic writes, though it plans one for next spring.

Georgia has only five police detectives solely pursuing prescription-drug cases statewide. By comparison, Broward County, Fla., has eight to itself.

 Georgia’s bill cleared the Senate, but failed to pass in the House. even Sherrod Brown, senator from Ohio, is lobbying on the subject. From a letter he wrote to Governor Deal: Without uniform regulations across all states, “efforts to crack down on pill mills become like a game of Whac-A-Mole—as soon as one disappears, another one pops up.”
In related news, the scourge that is the overuse of the “whack a mole” comparison continues unabated.


  1. View from Brookhaven says:

    Senate should be ashamed for threatening this thriving area of the tourism sector! In this economy! The nerve!

  2. CadeThacker says:

    Wait..I thought this passed and was signed by Deal?

    Patient Safety Act of 2011 (SB 36)

    I fixed the sentence from the post to make it interactive:

    Without uniform regulations across all states, “efforts to crack down on ______ become like a game of Whac-A-Mole—as soon as one disappears, another one pops up.”

    Is the answer:

    A) Prostitution
    B) Synthetic Marijuana
    C) Pill Mills
    D) Communism

  3. John Konop says:

    The gangs and terrorist love this war on drugs. Some of you talk out of both sides of your mouth……you have this love hate relationship with big government. Who really wins the war on drugs? trust me it is not tax payers or the people you think you are helping.

  4. mpierce says:

    (2) O.C.G.A. § 43-34-8 authorizes the Board to take disciplinary action against licensees for
    unprofessional conduct, which includes conduct below the minimum standards of practice. With respect to the prescribing of controlled substances for the treatment of pain and chronic pain, the Board has determined that the minimum standards of practice include, but are not limited to the following:
    (a) Physicians cannot delegate the dispensing of controlled substances to an unlicensed person.
    (b) When prescribing controlled substances, a physician shall use a prescription pad that complies with state law.
    (c) When initially prescribing a controlled substance for the treatment of pain or chronic pain, a physician shall have a medical history of the patient, a physical examination of the patient shall have been conducted, and informed consent shall have been obtained. In the event of a documented emergency, a physician may prescribe an amount of medication to cover a period of not more than 72 hours without a physical examination.
    (d) When a physician is treating a patient with controlled substances for pain or chronic pain for a condition that is not terminal, the physician shall obtain or make a diligent effort to obtain any prior diagnostic records relative to the condition for which the controlled substances are being prescribed and shall obtain or make a diligent effort to obtain any prior pain treatment records. The records obtained from prior treating physicians shall be maintained by the prescribing physician with the physician’s medical records for a period of at least ten (10) years. If the physician has made a diligent effort and is unable to obtain prior diagnostic records, then the physician must order appropriate tests to document the condition requiring treatment for pain or chronic pain. If the physician has made a diligent effort and the prior pain
    treatment records are not available, then the physician must document the efforts made to obtain the records and shall maintain the documentation of the efforts in his/her patient record.
    (e) When a physician determines that a patient for whom he is prescribing controlled scheduled substances is abusing the medication, then the physician shall make an appropriate referral for treatment for substance abuse.
    (f) When prescribing a Schedule II or III controlled substance for 90 (ninety) days or greater for the treatment of chronic pain arising from conditions that are not terminal, a physician must have a written treatment agreement with the patient and shall require the patient to have a clinical visit at least once every three (3) months to evaluate the patient’s response to treatment, compliance with the therapeutic regimen through monitoring appropriate for that patient, and any new condition that may have developed and be masked by the use of Schedule II or III controlled substances. The physician shall respond to any abnormal result of any monitoring and such response shall be recorded in the patient’s record. Exceptions to the requirement of a clinical visit once every three (3) months may be made for hardship in certain cases and such hardship must be well documented in the patient record. When a physician determines that a new medical condition exists that is beyond their scope of training, he/she shall make a referral to the appropriate practitioner.
    (g) Any physician who prescribes Schedule II or III substances for chronic pain for greater than 50% of that physician’s annual patient population must document competence to the Board through certification or eligibility for certification in pain management or palliative medicine as approved by the Georgia Composite Medical Board (“Board”). The Board recognizes certifications in pain medicine or palliative medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Association, the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. If the physician does not hold this certification or eligibility he/she must demonstrate competence by biennially obtaining 20 (twenty) hours of continuing medical education (“CME”) pertaining to pain management or palliative medicine. Such CME must be an AMA/AOA PRA Category I CME, a board approved CME program, or any federally approved CME. The CME obtained pursuant to this rule may count towards the CME required for license renewal.
    Authority: O.C.G.A. Secs. 31-32-2, 31-33-2, 16-13-21, 16-13-41, 16-13-74, 26-4-130, 43-1-19, 43-34-5, 43-34-8, 43-34-11, 43-34-21, 43-34-23 and 43-34-25. History. Original Rule entitled “Pain Management” adopted. F. Jan. 13, 2012; eff. Feb. 2, 2012.

    Why do we need a law “requiring pain clinics to be owned by medical professionals“?

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Let us all feel morally superior by making it more difficult for chronic pain sufferers to have any kind of normal life, or even just one that doesn’t involve wishing for death every waking moment. Because that will be the effect of this legislation whether you want to believe it or not.

    I don’t give one flying rats ass about some junky willingly deciding to get a high off some pain medication, but I care greatly for sufferers of chronic pain, having known several in my lifetime. While our legislature and Congress pats itself on the back for a job well done in “crackin’ down” on abusers, it makes it nigh impossible for burn victims, spinal cord injury sufferers and crush trauma patients to get relief. Doctors become fearful of overzealous prosecution, so they become reluctant in prescribing the medication, users of the medication being treated like criminals and made to feel guilty because their own bodies betray them every agonizing painful moment.

    Republicans in Georgia are under this delusion that they are conservatives, that they care even the slightest in small government, yet they jump on every “crackin’ down” initiative fad that rears its ugly head. This, my friends, is tyranny, pure and simple. It makes you no better than the “Liberal” bogeymen you pretend to fight. We are sick of more and more government, yet that is the God damned answer to everything. Who is going to stand up and stop this ever growing monster?

    • John Vestal says:

      Rumor has it that a few of those who have, once again, deemed themselves to ‘know better than an actual doctor’ what is or is not medically necessary are willing to make an exception for certain pain medications…but only when combined with a transvaginal ultrasound.


    • Dave Bearse says:

      Unlike virtually non-existent voter fraud at the polls that necessitated the requirement to present photo ID to vote (though simultaneously lessening standards on absentee ballots where there was/is history of fraud), it’s well established that pill mills fuel drug abuse.

      This “crackdown” won’t cost taxpayers anything, so it’s a conservative’s dream. Timely too, since it can fill the hole created by soft-on-crime incarceration reforms that may largely benefit some drug abusers.

      • John Konop says:

        It also true the ear on crimes fuels terrorist and violent gangs. It is also true the war on drugs has created more lifetime criminals than ever helped anyone. And this cycle has hurt all involved and tax payers, except the people who make money off this failed policy……

      • Doug Deal says:

        Yeah, because the thing we need most in this country is more people in prison. I think Saudi Arabia inched ahead of us in the percentage of our population incarcerated.

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