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Maureen Hayden: Pharmacist led fight in Senate against 'pill mills'

November 4, 2013
by Maureen Hayden
The Herald Bulletin (Indiana)

INDIANAPOLIS – In January, on his first day in office, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence called for a moratorium on state regulations, saying less government rules would help spur job creation across the Hoosier state.

State Sen. Ron Grooms, a conservative Republican from Jeffersonville, applauded the general notion of “less government intrusion” but decided the health of Hoosiers trumped ideology. During the 2013 session, he authored legislation to impose sweeping new regulations on the providers of prescription painkillers. His intent: To turn back the wave of misuse, abuse and addiction associated with the most frequently prescribed drugs in the U.S.

How did Grooms come to that decision? Through his personal experience as a pharmacist in Floyd County, where he’d witnessed the rise of suspicious pain management clinics, better known as “pill mills.”

In a recent interview, Grooms recalled how he could track the rise in prescriptions for drugs containing hydrocodone – the chemical derivative of opium – just by tracking his orders.

 

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