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Issue Background

Pain Clinic Regulation

SPPAN's Position

We know that true pill mills (rogue medical clnics) are not legitimate pain clinics, and should not be considered as such.   To this end, SPPAN advocates that our focus needs to be on targeting pill mills, not pain clinics.  This requires a different approach than what we've seen in the past.

Background

Rogue medical clinics commonly known as “pill mills” are highly visible manifestations of ongoing problems with prescription opioid misuse. Thousands of people have lost their lives, or their livelihoods, as a result of this criminal behavior, and families continue to suffer for it. This is unacceptable and must be addressed.

Also unacceptable is that tens of millions of people experience life-changing pain because adequate pain care is not available or adequately reimbursed. Those people and their families also continue to suffer.

To date, legislative and regulatory responses to pill mills have focused almost exclusively on establishing standards of practice or increasing statutory and regulatory requirements for pain management clinics. This has resulted in the unintended consequence of sharply curtailing the availability of good pain care, as onerous and unnecessary regulations serve as a disincentive to the establishment and maintenance of high-quality integrative pain management clinics. Alternative solutions addressing both the need to eliminate pill mills and the need to provide good care for the millions enduring life-changing pain need to be defined and implemented.

Resources:

Pill Mills Are Not Pain Clinics -- The Challenge Of Addressing One Without Harming The Other (by Robert K. Twillman, PhD, FAPM)

Pill mills are the most visible manifestation of our nation's ongoing struggle with prescription medication misuse, abuse, and addiction. Efforts to eradicate them should avoid unnecessarily regulating legitimate pain management clinics.