INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller praised the efforts of state legislators Wednesday after they passed bills to address issues with pain clinics known as pill mills, in addition to other complex state issues.
The legislators recently passed Senate Enrolled Act 246 and House Enrolled Act 1465, related bills that make changes to clinics that prescribe, dispense or administer controlled substances and increase the effectiveness of Indiana's prescription drug monitoring program. Zoeller's Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force examined the issue of pain-management clinics and found the facilities dispense addictive controlled substances with little oversight.
"The epidemic of prescription drug abuse is fueled by the irresponsible overprescribing of addictive painkillers to patients which leads to drug dependency, easy access for abuse and accidental overdoses, all with terrible consequences," Zoeller said. "The Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force determined that the state's efforts to curb these harmful practices by 'pill mills' would be enhanced with new state laws, and I am grateful to the legislators who have invested long hours into crafting effective new statutes to help address the epidemic in Indiana."
Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed HEA 1465 into law on April 29 and SEA 246 into law on Tuesday.
State legislators also passed bills to enhance consumer protections for homeowners and senior citizens, increase oversight of state child protection efforts and provide funding for school resource officers. SEA 509, a measure to enhance human trafficking laws, SEA 1, a school fundraising bill, and SEA 125, a bill to create a commission to improve child protection oversight, have already been signed into law. SEA 382, the Senior Consumer Protection Act, and HEA 1084, which makes enhancements to homeowner protection, await the governor's signature.
"Lawmakers of both parties and both houses worked collaboratively to tackle complex issues facing Hoosiers: providing for the safety of our children, protecting homeowners and senior citizens from fraud and confronting the problem of prescription drug abuse," Zoeller said. "Before session my office made recommendations about new laws needed to protect the public; and we are grateful that legislators worked so diligently to consider, refine and pass these bills that will serve the needs of constituents."