Feb 5 2013
07:48 am

Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) has introduced SB0705 which "prohibits pain management clinics from dispensing controlled substances." The House bill is HB0868 sponsored by Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville).

It appears this legislation would effectively shut down "pill mills" and require prescription pain medications to be obtained through pharmacies or other authorized dispensaries.

bizgrrl's picture

Great idea. What are the

Great idea. What are the cons?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Guess I'm not quite following this...

Is it the case that this bill would disallow the clinics to "dispense" pain meds, but would still allow them to "prescribe" pain meds?

If so, what difference would it make which entity, clinic or pharmacist, actually dispenses the meds?

What I mean is, does this bill anticipate that pharmacists filling prescriptions originating with pain management clinics would try to second guess the integrity of the clinics' licensed doctors still writing the prescriptions?

Pharmacists aren't able to dispense meds absent a licensed doctor having prescribed them, are they?

I had imagined that the root problem with pain management clinics is that too many of them are prescribing pain meds when that treatment might be avoided, so I don't understand how the problem is solved if doctors within the clinics may still prescribe?

And yes, I realize McNally is a pharmacist, but...

R. Neal's picture

Reduces crime and blight in

Reduces crime and blight in pain clinic parking lots and vicinity, would be my guess.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Maybe, but if we've still got docs in pain clinics writing scripts to dope heads, doesn't this bill just transfer (not reduce) the "crime and blight," namely to the Walgreens parking lot?

R. Neal's picture

Possibly, but it might also

Possibly, but it might also dilute the problem by spreading it around a little.

It also seems like an extra check and balance, and removes the marketing and pain pill profit motive for dodgy clinics.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Or maybe the larger profit margin for the pain clinic doc lies not in the volume of examinations he conducts, but in the volume of meds he dispenses?

Hadn't thought of that until right this minute...

If so, possibly the bill would be effective in reducing the number of docs enticed to operate pain clinics for the $$$ to be made in dispensing.

Fewer clinics, fewer dope heads in parking lots anywhere?

That's probably the angle.

Pam Strickland's picture

The dodgy pain clinics charge

The dodgy pain clinics charge more for the scripts because they can make money off of them because the users don't have to make a trip to the drug store.

The reputable pain docs don't mind writing a script and having the patient go the the pharmacy.

It's a small thing, but it could make a huge difference in getting the shady pain clinics shut down.

Up Goose Creek's picture


Don't the pharmacies participate in a registry aimed to prevent pillheads from doctor shopping?

Pam Strickland's picture

Yes, they do.

Yes, they do.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Goose or Pam, how does this registry work?

Is a pharmacist who suspects a script has originated with one of these "dodgy" doctors able to decline the script? As in refuse to fill it?

Up Goose Creek's picture


I think they input a name into a database. The patient has to show ID to get their scrip and there would be limits I assume.

Pam Strickland's picture

I don't know the exact

I don't know the exact details. But I believe that certain medications are on the registry. My guess would be that you have to show your ID to get them and you can only get them refilled within a certain time period.

Let's say you have a script for 30 Ocycontin from Dr. X. And you get it filled at Kroger on Monday. Then you can't go to Walgreen's on Friday and get 30 more from Dr. Y.

That's a very rudimentary example, but that's my simplistic understanding of it.

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