U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), says an Associated Press news report detailing increasing numbers of “prescription tourists” traveling to Georgia—often from Ohio—to obtain prescription painkillers has spurred him to urge the state’s governor, Nathan Deal, to act to crack down on “pill mills” in Georgia.

“If all states do not take tough actions, efforts to crack down on pill mills become like a game of Whac-A-Mole—as soon as one disappears, another one pops up,” Brown said. “Pain clinics closing in Florida have simply been reopening in nearby Georgia, offering ‘prescription tourists’ from Ohio and other states easy access to addictive and often-deadly prescription drugs. In order to stem the flow of prescription drugs from Georgia to Ohio, Governor Deal must act to quickly and aggressively to combat this epidemic.”

“In addition, a Medicaid Lock-In program would help stop Medicaid prescription drug fraud and ensure that Ohio taxpayers are not financing criminal activity or feeding drug addiction. We need to put an end to the doc-shopping and pharmacy-hopping that are fueling this crisis,” Brown said.

In a letter sent to Deal Wednesday, Brown wrote: “Too often, pills that are illegally obtained in Georgia find their way to my home state of Ohio. I urge you to take steps to aggressively monitor prescription oxycodone and opioids in your state in order to combat the national prescription drug abuse epidemic. Failure to act aggressively in Georgia to eradicate pills mills and prevent these abuses will only sustain the drug pipeline that leads to Ohio.”

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