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Texas Lawmaker Leads Call For Rx Abuse Crackdown

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Some lawmakers want to know why the federal government hasn’t done more to prosecute clinics illegally dispensing prescriptions for pain medication.

Leading the charge is North Texas Congressman Michael Burgess, a licensed physician, who during a committee meeting waved an advertisement touting details of a so-called pill mill. “So if I can find them how come the Board of Pharmacy can’t, how come law enforcement can’t?” he asked. “Right now, you can go to a publication, you can go on the internet and buy a controlled substance by pointing and clicking at two things. One – ‘I need the drug’, and two – ‘I ain’t lying’, most people can meet that bar.”

Burgess says there needs to be a crackdown on what some are calling a prescription drug abuse crisis. “Look, I ran a medical practice for 25 years [and] never once did I advertise a free initial visit, dispensing [medication] onsite, discounts off meds, [or] coupon included.”

The North Texas Republican believes federal regulators and law enforcement haven’t done enough to track down clinics and offices illegally distributing pain meds. “So, to start we could go after the pill mills.” He suggested. “They may be hard to find, but maybe not. They advertise, so we’re very fortunate they tell us where they are, what their hours are. They tell us their charges.”

Burgess said the problem should be addressed now so that stricter legislation, negatively impacting true patients in need, can be avoided. “If we don’t stop the bad actors we’re going to hurt the people who have legitimate uses for these medications.”

In addition to better monitoring of illegal Canadian and internet sales, some lawmakers want increased control on hydrocodone drugs like Vicodin, bumping up how they are classified in terms of potential abuse and dependence.

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