Gov John Kasich signed an Executive Order on Monday authorizing the State Medical Board of Ohio to establish standards and procedures for pain management clinics in Ohio, which he says will help fight prescription drug abuse by preventing clinics from operating as pill mills.
The order follows a request by the Medical Board for an emergency determination.
House Bill 93, co-sponsored by State Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson and State Rep. David Burke, authorized the Medical Board to establish standards and procedures for the operation of pain management clinics, the physicians providing care and the owners who supervise and direct clinic personnel.
The Executive Order refers to the need for the protocol as Ohios opiate epidemic, a crisis of unparalleled proportions with devastating, often deadly, consequences.
Kasich said the substances being prescribed in pain clinics accounted for nearly 40 percent of Ohios 1,373 overdose deaths in 2009.
Whereas, the Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force report, dated October 1, 2010, identified certain criteria and conduct that characterized pill mill facilities, which are sometimes disguised as independent pain management centers, the Executive Order reads. Whereas, some Ohio licensed physicians provide opiates through independent pain management centers over which there has not been regulatory oversight.
It then goes on to give the board the power to establish standards and procedures for the operation of a pain management clinic; physicians who provide care at a pain management clinic; and owners providing supervision, direction, and control of individuals at a pain management clinic.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.