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Albany, N.Y. – (6/12/12) — Senator Greg Ball (R,C-Patterson) has announced a new agreement on a comprehensive prescription drug reform bill that will help make our state a national leader in curbing prescription drug abuse.
Across the nation, prescription drug abuse has reached crisis proportions destroying young lives, harming local communities and creating a tremendous new burden for law enforcement.
A recent national study showed that prescription painkillers are now responsible for approximately 15,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits a year, killing more people than car accidents.
New York is fighting back to save lives, prevent tragedies, and to keep kids safe and free from prescription drug abuse.
"This new legislation will be instrumental in our state's fight against prescription drug abuse,” said Senator Greg Ball. “We have seen far to many families in our state affected by prescription drug overdose. This will now enable our state to better crack down on the illegal trafficking of painkillers and take a pro-active approach to fixing this problem.”
Known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or “I-STOP,” this important legislation includes the following:
- Creating a modernized and improved “real time” Prescription Monitoring Program that practitioners and pharmacists can securely and easily access, allowing them to view their patients' controlled substance histories;
- Requiring e-prescribing, making New York a national leader by being one of the first states to move from paper prescriptions to a system mandating electronic prescribing;
- Updating controlled substance schedules to align New York’s Controlled Substances Act with Federal Law and changing the schedules for hydrocodone compounds and tramadol to reduce abuse;
- Enhancing the Prescription Pain Medication Awareness Program to educate the public and health care practitioners about the risks associated with prescribing and taking controlled substance pain medications; and
- Establishing a Safe Disposal Program to increase the options available to safely dispose of unused controlled substances and prevent people who abuse prescription painkillers from obtaining them from friends or relatives.
Both the Senate and Assembly have unanimously approved this important legislation, which will soon be signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
Click here for additional details regarding this landmark new effort to protect our communities – and our kids – from prescription drug abuse.