Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, this week signed on as an original cosponsor of legislation that will combat the recent explosion of "pill mills" throughout the country and address the growing prescription drug abuse epidemic.
The legislation, "The Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011," authored by Representative Vern Buchanan, includes provisions that support state-based prescription drug monitoring programs, making it harder to acquire strong and addictive pain medication. It also toughens sentencing guidelines for pill mill operators. In addition, the legislation stipulates that money seized in pill mill busts must be used to enhance enforcement and treatment programs.
Bono Mack joined with other Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle, as well as the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA) to urge its swift passage.
"Rogue "pain clinics' are a national scourge which needs to be eradicated before more innocent Americans become hopelessly addicted to powerful prescription drugs," said Bono Mack. "Easy access to these potentially dangerous and deadly drugs is a growing threat across the United States."
"Today, we take a crucial step toward putting these pill mills out of business," said Buchanan. "Many of these so-called pain clinics are nothing more than illegal drug distribution networks that bring untold misery to our children, our families, and our communities.
Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05), who co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug abuse with Bono Mack had this to say:
"Congressman Buchanan's bill gets it absolutely right. More and more of my colleagues are joining the fight to put these unregulated pill mills out of business and the pushers behind bars."
Bono Mack and Rogers established the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug abuse to shed light on the problem and to unite like-minded policy-makers dedicated to the development of innovative and effective policy solutions. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), illegal prescription drug diversion is now our nation's fastest growing drug threat.