July 12, 2011: Buchanan-Markey

NDAA & NCJA Support Bipartisan Legislation to Crack Down on Prescription Drug Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National District Attorney Association (NDAA) and the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) today endorsed H.R. , the bipartisan “Pill Mill Crackdown Act”, saying the bill provides vital support for law enforcement in the fight against prescription drug abuse nationwide.  The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan, (R-Fla.) and Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), seeks to crack down on phony pain management clinics – “pill mills” – that illegally distribute narcotics across the country.

“The Buchanan-Markey bill provides the back-up that state and local law enforcement needs in the ongoing battle against the prescription drug abuse epidemic. That epidemic is responsible for the deaths of 20,000 Americans each year and puts countless more on the path to long-term drug abuse. By supporting state programs that prevent and detect illicit drug activity, this common sense legislation will help save the lives of our children, neighbors, and friends across the country,” said Kristen Mahoney, President of the National Criminal Justice Association.

The Pill Mill Crackdown Act is supported by more than 50 members of Congress from both parties.  It includes provisions to: toughen prison terms and fines for pill mill operators; support state-based prescription drug monitoring programs; use the money from seized illicit operations for drug treatment; and strengthen prescription standards for certain addictive pain drugs.

Doctors earn their medical licenses to prescribe drugs, not deal them,” said Rep. Markey, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  “Yet ‘pill mills’ are spurring an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in communities, doctor’s offices, and homes across the country. The Pill Mill Crackdown Act will support law enforcement officials who are on the front lines of this battle to uncover illegal drug activity and save lives.”

“These so-called ‘pain management’ clinics are nothing more than drug dealers posing as doctors and health providers,” said Rep. Buchanan, noting that prescription drug overdoses claim seven lives a day in Florida.  “They need to be dealt with swiftly and firmly – and those who are making money off the death and suffering of their victims should be sent to prison.”

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