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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2016 09:29 AM
From: Representative Matthew E. Baker
To: All House members
Subject: Regulation of Pain Clinics in Pennsylvania
Prescription drug abuse and misuse is a growing epidemic throughout the United States. According to a recent report, 27% of people who abuse prescription pain medications receive them from a doctor, whereas 60% percent obtain them from a friend or relative. Also, four out of five recent heroin initiates have previously abused prescription pain relievers first.

A research brief by the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council recently highlighted that Northcentral Pennsylvania saw the state’s largest percentage-wise growth in hospitalizations for heroin overdoses, with a 509 percent increase.

In an effort to help address this growing prescription drug and heroin epidemic facing the Commonwealth, I intend to introduce legislation in the near future that will regulate pain management clinics. Under my proposal, pain management clinics will be required to register with the PA Department of Health and will be subject to specific requirements. Regulating health care providers and clinics that prescribe pharmaceuticals based on medical need rather than financial gain is critical.

It is my hope that by introducing this very important legislation, it will help prevent the diversion, misuse and abuse of controlled substances. It is vital that we seek to ensure that patients suffering from chronic pain get the relief they need while also minimizing the potential for harmful consequences. Currently, eleven states have enacted ‘pill mill’ legislation and several states are currently considering similar legislation. The Pennsylvania District Attorney Association supports this legislation.

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important proposal.

Introduced as HB1043