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Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:40am

'Drug Tourists' Head To Georgia

As Florida and other states crack down on pain pill mills, clinics are migrating to Georgia where painkillers can be easily bought and taken across state lines to re-sell.

So-called “pain pill tourists” are stocking up on prescriptions and creating a shortage for actual patients.

In Georgia, authorities say they are seeing hundreds of pain pill mills pop up because there are no strict laws governing pain pill clinics. With easy access, out of state drug dealers dispatch runners-- so-called “pain pill tourists”— to Georgia where they can load up on painkillers…..then return to sell the drugs to addicts willing to pay as much as 10 times the drugstore price.

Rick Allen, Director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotic Agency says it’s causing a prescription drug shortage:

“So legitimate patients that need these drugs cannot get them because the pharmacy are using them all up filling the pain pill prescriptions.”

Andy Ulrich is a pharmacist at Hawthorne drugs in Athens. He says he’s seen a huge spike in out of towners looking to fill prescription narcotics:

“Atleast 2 or 3 a day, attempts to come by and fill prescriptions or calls that we get asking for medications, and we just don’t have enough to go around, plus we’ve made it a policy that we don’t fill out of town prescriptions anyway.”

In Georgia, legislation to regulate the licensing of pain pill clinics failed this year.