Monday marks the beginning of Georgia’s new fiscal year, when over
115 new state laws will take effect. Among the new laws are is one requiring
more stringent regulations for
pain management clinics.
Georgia has experienced a greater number of prescription pain medication
overdoses and adverse drug occurrences in recent years.
In the past few years, Georgia has faced an epidemic of prescription medication
overdoses. This is due in part to the rise of pain management clinics
that readily provide patients with prescriptions for pain medications
such as oxycodone, a highly addictive substance. These “pill mills”
offer patients pain medications with little to no review of what other
medications the patient is taking and the potentially adverse drug interactions
that may result from a variety of combinations. These facilities also
often fail to consider whether the patient being prescribed pain medications
is dealing with a drug dependency.
Georgia pain management clinics face increasing scrutiny from federal and
Over the course of the last year, Georgia based pain management clinics
have been the subject of both federal and state investigations. For example,
last July, agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
raided Southern Health Management in Tucker, Georgia twice in the span
of three weeks, and charged one of the physicians there with conspiracy
to distribute oxycodone.
Georgia pain management clinics have also faced medical malpractice lawsuits.
In addition, pain management clinics have been subject to
medical malpractice lawsuits. In April, the widow of a patient who died of a drug overdose while receiving
treatment at a pain clinic in Brunswick, Georgia sued the facility for
medical malpractice and wrongful death. The court awarded her over $30 million.
New legislation seeks to enhance regulation of pain management clinics.
In response, Attorney General Sam Olens sponsored legislation targeting
pain management clinics that prescribe pain medications to patients without
sufficient review of the patients’ medical history. Ownership of
pain management clinics is now limited to state licensed physicians or
hospitals, and pain management clinics will have to go through a licensing
process. In addition, pain management clinics are now subject to new record
Although the legislation passed overwhelmingly, it was not without any
opposition. For instance, Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine recognized that
there is a prescription abuse epidemic in Georgia. He expressed worry,
however, that passing the legislation sponsored by Olens would lead to
overregulation and drive the issue underground. He fears that this would
increase the street value of prescription drugs and lead to a rise in
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an overdose or adverse
drug reaction, or if your loved one has been killed as a result of an
overdose or adverse drug reaction after being treated at a pain management
clinic, contact an attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to review
the facts of your case and determine whether medical negligence was at
play. If this is the case, your attorney will be able to help you receive
the compensation you deserve.