Today, the Georgia Senate approved H.B. 178, legislation to reign in the operation of illicit pill mills in Georgia. This follows passage of the bill by the House of Representatives last month. H.B. 178, sponsored by Representative Tom Weldon in the House and Senator Renee Unterman in the Senate, will provide the Georgia Composite Medical Board the authority to license and regulate pain management clinics. Because the Senate passed H.B. 178 without amendments, the bill now heads to the desk of Governor Deal.
Attorney General Sam Olens applauded the passage of the much-needed legislation to combat the surge of pill mills and prescription drug abuse in communities across Georgia.
“I commend the Georgia General Assembly for taking action to curtail the rapid growth of pill mills in Georgia,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “Pill mill operators are nothing more than narcotic traffickers, and we will not tolerate them in our State. H.B. 178 strikes a balance that will allow us to identify and curb bad actors without getting in the way of the many excellent doctors who offer legitimate pain management to patients.”
“I thank Chairman Tom Weldon for sponsoring H.B. 178, and I also thank Chairman Renee Unterman for shepherding the bill through the Senate. Chairman Sharon Cooper and House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey were also instrumental in moving the bill through the House, and I thank them. I also appreciate Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer, and Speaker David Ralston for taking up this important issue.”
As other states, such as Florida, passed legislation to combat the spread of pill mills, bad actors began relocating to Georgia. This bill will give Georgia law enforcement the necessary tools to tackle the growing problem.