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Bills to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse Advance in House and Senate

PRESS ADVISORY

Bills to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse Advance in House and Senate

February 28, 2012

Committees in the House and Senate have unanimously recommended passage of bills designed to reign in the rapid growth of illegal pill mills in Georgia. The House Committee on Health and Human Services passed HB 972, sponsored by Representative Tom Weldon, and the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities passed SB 453, sponsored by Senator Buddy Carter. By providing the Georgia Composite Medical Board the authority to license and regulate pain management clinics, these bills will restrict illicit pill mill operators from doing business in Georgia.

As other states, such as Florida, have passed legislation to combat the spread of pill mills, bad actors are relocating to Georgia and causing communities across the State irreparable harm. Oversight is needed immediately in Georgia to stem the growing tide.

Attorney General Sam Olens, who has made tackling prescription drug abuse in Georgia priority, commended the members of the House and Senate Committees.

“A major driver behind the rise in prescription drug abuse and related deaths in Georgia is the surge of illicit pill mills, which often operate under the facade of a pain clinic,” said Olens. “There are many legitimate pain management clinics that provide relief to patients with chronic pain, and this bill will ensure that only these licensed practitioners are allowed to practice in Georgia. I greatly appreciate Representative Tom Weldon and Senator Buddy Carter for introducing and overseeing this vital legislation, and I commend Chairman Sharon Cooper and Chairman David Shafer for their leadership in perfecting and advancing the bill.”