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Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 1:11pm

Prescriptions Flagged In Autopsies

A Senate Committee passed a bill late Monday that would enact the “Georgia Pain Management Clinic Act.”

The bill requires pain management clinics be licensed, but exempts nursing homes, hospice care centers and inpatient hospitals.

Death investigations by coroners would flagged if prescriptions were involved. Any death that may be the result of a medication administered or prescribed would have to be reported to the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

Macon County Coroner Grover Barfield says he’s seen an increase in pain medication related deaths—five in the past year alone:

“To me, there’s a widespread misuse of prescription medication and a lot of it is causing deaths in the state of Georgia.”

In Georgia, autopsies are performed when additional investigation is needed to establish the cause of death.