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January 29, 2013

Floyd County places moratorium on pain clinics

McDonald’s approved for LaFollette Station

NEW ALBANY — The Floyd County Plan Commission unanimously approved a 12-month moratorium on the opening of new pain management clinics in the county. Georgetown will consider a moratorium of its own today in a special meeting.

During the moratorium, Floyd County Planner Don Lopp said a regulatory process would be put in place concerning pain management clinics that is defensible, should the measure be challenged in court.

Last month, the City of Jeffersonville forced a pain management clinic to shut its doors after the Indiana Medical Licensing Board suspended the license of Dr. Lea Marlow, who worked at the Clark County Wellness Center, 526 E. Maple St.  

Gabrielle Owens, deputy director of the Attorney General’s Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Unit, said in a release last month that Marlow’s “prescribing practices are well outside the boundaries of what is considered safe and appropriate.”

According to the attorney general’s office, Marlow prescribed more than 8,000 prescriptions for 3,489 patients, with more than 95 percent receiving oxycodone. 

While there are currently no pain management clinics in Floyd County, Charlotte Bass with the Floyd County Health Department said there are rumors that a doctor has been looking to open one along Grant Line Road or in Georgetown. New Albany already has an ordinance concerning pain management clinics.

Lopp said Floyd County had previously enforced a moratorium against adult businesses until an ordinance could be researched and written concerning regulations where such a business could locate.

“This is a proactive approach instead of a reactive approach,” said plan commission member Don Loughmiller.

Member Rebecca Gardenour said she was “excited” when she saw the moratorium on the agenda. She said pain medication, and the illegal use of such medication, tears families apart.

“This destroys families. [I support] anything we can do to be proactive and keep them out of our community,” she said.

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