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PTC may ban 'pain management clinics' for 1 year

City staff is asking that the Peachtree City Council tonight ban a specific type of business, so-called “pain management clinics,” based on the theory that they are responsible for the disreputable dispensing of narcotics prescriptions.

The ban would forbid such existing businesses, as described in the ordinance, from renewing their occupational tax license. It also would forbid new pain management clinics from getting an occupational tax license. The item was added Dec. 1 to the council's Dec. 2 meeting agenda at the request of city staff, according to the information packet for the meeting.

Without the city-issued license, a business cannot legally operate in the city. According to a memo from city staff, a person wishing to open a business or medical practice that would prescribe pain medications would be required to provide a signed, notarized statement that the business is not a pain management clinic as defined in the resolution.

The proposed moratorium would last for one calendar year, giving staff time to “analyze the impact of pain management clinics and consider whether further regulation is necessary.”

The city defines a pain management clinic as one that “employs one or more physicians who are primarily engaged in the treatment of pain by prescribing pain medications” and is not affiliated with any facility for the treatment of the terminally ill, any facility that treats patients with drug addictions, or any hospice or hospital.

A proposed resolution for council to consider notes that a business is also a pain management clinic if it fills or dispenses such pain medications at the same location or a different location, unlike most regular physicians who write prescriptions to be filled at local pharmacies.

The resolution further defines pain medicine as any prescription medication that contains narcotic analgesics or opiods, including fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine or oxycodone.

While the proposed resolution cites a grand jury report from Broward County, Florida that attributed a significant spike in oxycodone prescriptions in 2008 that were attributed to some 115 pain clinics operating in that county, there are no local statistics to determine if that trend is occurring locally due to any “pain management clinic” that might be operating in Peachtree City.

In Broward County in the last months of 2008, some 6.5 million dose units were prescribed in Broward County alone, compared to 2.5 million dose units for the rest of the entire state.

Last month, CBS Atlanta published a story citing an undercover investigation it conducted into several pain management clinics, including Atlanta Back and Spine Institute on Prime Point.

The CBS Atlanta report quoted a recovering drug addict saying he supported his 15-year drug habit by visiting “pill mills” in Georgia and Florida, which make pain pills easy to get as long as the patient has an MRI report and a pharmacy report, both of which it was alleged can be easily purchased illegally.

The addition of the proposed resolution was added to the City Council’s agenda late Wednesday morning.



.....near the county line on east side?

Looks like a mansion!

Mayube these things are cheaper for addicts and they won't have to rob and steal and murder to get dope!

SPQR's picture

This is right up there with gas golf carts. Does the council have any idea what their doing?

Mike King's picture

Making fools of themselves and being the embarassment of the Atlanta area, it's what they do best. Has anyone noticed anything over the last month to say otherwise?

I have far more experience in dealing with pain clinics than anyone who is affiliated with PTC government. In a land of so many conservatives who are supposed to be in favor of limited government intrusion, I say HOW DARE YOU! I am a chiropractor who regularly refers patients for pain management. For those who don't know, chiropractic is a drug free health care profession. There are times; however, when conditions are too far gone to respond to conservative therapies. Pain management is a logical step before visiting a surgeon. I've had hundreds of patients in my 23 years of practice who avoided the knife thanks to skilled pain management doctors - me included.

It's the job of the Georgia Board of Medical Examiners to dictate who should and shouldn't practice, not the PTC government. If a fly by night doctor without the proper skills and motivation should open a clinic in Peachtree City, gather your facts and report that person to their governing board of examiners, the FBI, or the DEA.

I urge any government official who is thinking of pursuing this any further to reconsider their decision. If you have any hopes of staying in any elected office, it won't happen. I know more people than any of you and I will make it my life's mission to end your days of public service in any capacity.

I cannot believe people so ignorant got elected in my beloved town. This is the most ridiculous, intrusive, and uneducated proposal in the history of Peachtree City.

John Giovanelli DC

PTC Observer's picture

Well said, in particular the last sentence.

I don't understand why the Mayor is doing the DA's job either, but we also have 83 other "pain management" clinics in Fayette, and no one has seriously complained? The grocery stores sell it by the semi-trailer loads every week?
There is always one in sight anywhere. They however bring in tons of tax money.

If this proposed action was recommended by City Staff, let's see the details and rationale! Otherwise, unless pursued by competent medical professionals or law enforcement, drop it! Another potential black mark where none is needed!

PTC Observer's picture

So, let me get this right people who run pain clinics are guilty until proven innocent?

What attorney in their right mind would recommend to our city fathers a rule like this?

Study the situation on your own time, then come back to council with a recommendation. What in the world can the city staff be thinking? Get on with some meaningful city business.

Don Haddix's picture

We passed it but the article is a bit misleading.

I have had extremely beneficial treatment from a pain specialist and a orthopedic specialist who works extensively with pain. So I a fully aware of the benefits. Far more than most.

But in this area it is to give the State Legislature a chance to deal with clinics that have no doctors on Staff on site at all. All they do is dispense pain killers for cash or credit card. They do not handle insurance forms.

So there is a big difference between these places and pharmacies, doctors offices, hospitals or specialty doctor staffed pain clinics, the real thing.

I hope that clears up any misunderstandings. We would never vote to stop legitimate plain clinics. Often they are too few and too far between.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

NUK_1's picture

You claim that only clinics with "no doctors on Staff on site at all" are effected. Yet, what is THIS:

"The city defines a pain management clinic as one that “employs one or more physicians who are primarily engaged in the treatment of pain by prescribing pain medications”

Either Munford totally got the story wrong or what you are saying is totally inaccurate. In any event, the whole idea is STUPID and you make Steve Brown look like The Best Mayor in History.

Are saying that the city is trying to quell non licensed individuals from prescribing narcotics while leaving qualified prescribing entities alone? If so, why are you wasting time with this? Call DEA and they'll take care of it.

Pain management has a board certification, most commonly obtained by doctors with a background in anesthesiology. Unfortunately there are even board certified doctors who do nothing other than push pills. The good pain management doctors are not quick to prescribe narcotics and offer various treatments other than medications. As much as I am against the former of these types of doctors, I still believe the city has no business interfering with well defined and tightly governed state and federal laws.

Mr. Mayor, you are dealing outside of YOUR scope of practice.

John Giovanelli DC

Who does his advocating passing a city law against places dispensing pain killers who have no doctors (medical) in attendance effect?

Doctors, Chiropractors, pain clinics with doctors in attendance, who?

Don't worry, they will sue the city if such a law passes---assuming they are legitimate.

"Dealing outside your scope of practice," reminds me of the complaints of conservatives (right wing) about regulating anything, including food, medicine, and especially crooks!

Just in the past six months, we have been told that the city spent hundreds of man hours coming up with a plan to ban walking signs, Haddix being paid to embarrass us at the regional transport meeting, plus city resources and man-hours were used to generate the laughable letter to the developers of Ficher's Crossing and now this potential assault on yet another business. For a city that is broke, they sure do waste a lot of my money working on anti-business rules and regulations. One dares to wonder why businesses are leaving PTC (like mine) or choosing not to come here (like the new theater). Haddix and crew sound more and more like the guy in the White House every day.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I have asked Betsy to reveal who besides Doug suppported the Waaaaaaa! letter from Haddix and no response. I have called upon Kim - the most emotionally stable councilperson, by far - to denounce the Haddix letter and smoke out who was for it and who against it. Again no response or no action. So is it possible we have 4 or even 5 people up there who thought "protecting" the Peachtree City name with a whiney, foolish letter was a smart move and a good use of city resources? Seems impossible, but what other conclusion can one reach from the silent non-response? God help us all.

Yes avenger12, there really is a connection between an anti-business attitude and declining revenues. We got it. It is time our "leadership" got it and made changing that a priority.

I'm about one inch from joining forces with Giovanelli to start the process for removing the irrtating and incompetent. I mostly sat on the sidelines during the Brown removal campaign and regretted that I did. I will participate with time and money this time.

Live free or die!

There was no vote to my knowledge.
The Mayor can ask anyone he wants to desist anything!

The Peachtree City FBI will look into it, I'm sure, along with the Peachtre City Attorney General, since the County DA doesn't care about such stuff!

One city I lived in was where the Mayor rode around with policemen pointing out violations of codes, speeders, drunks, etc. He can do that.

Mike King's picture

When you and John are serious, count me in.

NUK_1's picture

"The city defines a pain management clinic as one that “employs one or more physicians who are primarily engaged in the treatment of pain by prescribing pain medications” and is not affiliated with any facility for the treatment of the terminally ill, any facility that treats patients with drug addictions, or any hospice or hospital."

You want to ban for a year the above? WHY? Yet another solution for a non-existent problem in PTC. Get out of everyone's lives for a few weeks and take a long vacation. I don't care if the whole group wants to go to some exotic locale for a while; PTC taxpayers will pay the bill if you just leave so you can't spend all your time on composing stupid letters and horrible ideas.

Anyone who thinks that PTC and Fayette is nothing but "conservatives" needs to look at the highly activist bunch on PTC Council that never lets an opportunity to impose themselves on as many people and businesses as possible.

This is easily the worst Council I have ever seen in PTC and it's a pathetic joke. Their priorities are ludicrous.

Ban pain management clinics? If there is a problem, call the police or the GBI. Banning gas golf carts? Are you kidding me? Will we sue any company that wants to use "Peachtree City" in their name that is not inside the city limits? Outrageous! Are we going to ban The Atlanta Bread Company from The Avenue? You folks on council need to get a life. Maybe you only need to meet once a quarter. You obviously have nothing important to do.

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