PTC extends ‘pain clinic’ ban


Peachtree City has extended its ban on “pain management clinics” in an effort to buy more time for state legislation to halt the new line of quasi-medical practice, which has in some cases shown to draw drug abusers hooked on prescription narcotics.

When the moratorium was adopted late last year, city officials noted that one such operation started here but shut down prior to the ban. That company set up shop in a local shopping center, and its patients would be given a prescription to be filled at another location owned by the same company instead of a pharmacy, officials said.

This particular clinic, on most days, didn’t even have a licensed doctor on the premises, police said. Plus, in addition to not honoring any medical insurance plans, such companies typically require payment to be by cash, according to Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark.

At a legitimate clinic, typically a patient will see a doctor or physician’s assistant and be evaluated, Clark said. Instead, patients were going inside to get their prescription renewed, paying their fee, and that was it, he added.

The legislation passed by the city does not forbid pain management clinics that are affiliated with a hospital, hospice, or any facility that treats those who are terminally ill or have drug addictions, officials have said.

Businesses falling outside the bounds of that definition are still allowed to operate, as long as they do not fill or dispense the pain medication prescriptions either on or off-site.