Senate Bill Targets Prescription Black Market
The New York State Senate today acted on legislation that would crack down on the growing black market in non-controlled prescription drugs which puts patients at risk and rips off taxpayers through Medicaid fraud. Legislation (S.2942) sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City) makes it a crime to fraudulently prescribe, buy, and sell these types of medications.
“There is a growing black market in expensive, non-controlled prescription drugs, such as AIDS, asthma and anti-psychotic medications, which have a very high street value,” said Senator Hannon, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee. “As such, the temptation to illegally obtain and resell these meds is great, and these drug resale scams cost the Medicaid system hundreds of millions of dollars. This legislation will provide law enforcement with the necessary guidelines and authority to crackdown on this behavior and keep our communities safe.”
These expensive medications are most often paid for by Medicaid and sold on the street for a fraction of their actual value. The criminals who buy the medications often bring them to a stash house where they are collected and resold to unscrupulous pharmacies or shipped to other countries.
Other negative consequences include sick patients selling their medications instead of taking them, unsuspecting patients buying black market drugs from their pharmacies, and pharmacies selling drugs which have not been properly stored and maintained. This legislation will increase and establish criminal penalties that better fit these crimes.
The bill will be sent to the Assembly.