On Tuesday, two U.S. senators — Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill. — announced they are sponsoring “The Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011,” which was introduced by Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., earlier in the year.
The proposed legislation would direct money seized from pill mill operators to be used for drug treatment, increase fines and sentences for those convicted of running pill mills and change standards, making hydrocodone drugs — for example,Vicodin — harder to obtain.
“I am thrilled to have Senator Manchin and Senator Kirk join me in this bipartisan effort to crack down on prescription drug abuse nationwide,” Buchanan said in a statement. “Pill mills have turned my home state of Florida into the nation’s warehouse for deadly narcotics … claiming seven lives a day. Now, more than ever, we need to shut down these so-called ‘pain clinics’ that bring untold misery to our children, our families, and our communities.”