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Kirk Wants Crackdown On Doctors Who Enable Painkiller Abuse

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), attending a town hall meeting in Westmont, Ill., on March 19, 2011, spoke at U.S. involvement in an international military effort against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is introducing legislation to crack down on doctors who overprescribe painkillers that get abused by teens.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Kirk says more teens are killed now by prescription medications than by auto accidents.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports


Accompanied by David and Gail Katz, who lost their son, Daniel, 25, to a narcotic prescribed for a friend, Kirk said his legislation would toughen federal penalties for doctors who overprescribe painkillers.

Kirk’s bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), would increase fines for so called: “Pill Mill Operators,” as doctors who overprescribe prescription drugs are known.

Kirk’s legislation would also decrease access to hydrocodone drugs such as Vicodin, Loricet and Loritab by reclassifying as controlled substances.

Kirk rejected any idea that his legislation will lead to increased agony for cancer patients whose doctors would limit pain killers to avoid legal problems.

This is “because if someone in a pain clinic or suffering from cancer well fits the medical practice community standards, and would not in any way violate the controlled substances act,” Kirk said.

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