Ga. Attorney General Calls for Warnings on Powerful Pain Medications

May 14, 2013

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to place warnings on powerful prescription pain medications like OxyContin.

Olens and 42 other state attorneys general have written a letter to the FDA. The letter calls for the agency to warn about the risk of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The Syndrome is found in a number of newborns whose mothers took powerful pain medications while pregnant. After birth, infants with the syndrome can have tremors, hyperactivity and can fail to gain weight. Olens says the warnings are needed to protect newborns.

Credit Michael Tam /

“This is an effort to frankly further educate society and pregnant women in particular so we can reduce the number of children with the Syndrome.”

Currently, Georgia does not track the number of newborns with the Syndrome. But given statistics in surrounding states, Olens believes it’s also a problem in Georgia.

“We’re seeing it a huge problem in Tennessee, north of us, and a huge problem directly south of us in Florida, so we know it’s a national problem.”

The effort comes after Governor Nathan Deal recently signed House Bill 178. The bill was one of the attorney general’s top legislative priorities and is designed to crack down on illegal pill mills by regulating Georgia’s pain management clinics.