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Senator Alesi Joins Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to Target Prescription Drug Addiction

Senator Jim Alesi announced today that he is co-sponsoring legislation to establish AN Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) – an initiative targeted at combating prescription drug addiction.  This important legislation, S.5720, would require the Department of Health to create and maintain a real-time, online reporting system to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of certain controlled substances.  Health care practitioners and pharmacists would be required to report specific information to the database when Schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substances are prescribed and dispensed.

“Increased occurrences of prescription drug abuses in New York State have emphasized the need to streamline communication among practitioners, pharmacists and law enforcement,” said Senator Alesi.  “By providing health care practitioners and pharmacists with a centralized database, we can help to avoid over-prescribing and provide treatment to patients who abuse prescription drugs.  Ultimately, this is a public safety issue, and it is vital to ensure the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.”  

“We must work harder to prevent individuals from receiving prescriptions from multiple sources to ensure that patients’ prescription use is legitimate – not lethal.  I am proud to sponsor this important legislation verifying that prescriptions are medically necessary and are not being dispensed to abusers, addicts, or drug dealers,” Senator Alesi continued.  “Key to this legislation is the continuing education component for practitioners, pharmacists and law enforcement about proper use of the system.”

“The rise of prescription drug abuse in New York and across the country demands a better system for both our health care providers and law enforcement officials to track the flow of potentially dangerous substances,” said Attorney General Schneiderman, who has been a vocal advocate for I-STOP. 

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the second most prevalent illegal drug problem in the United States.  Under this legislation, health care practitioners and pharmacists would be required to report specific information to the database when Schedule II (e.g. oxycodone and morphine), III (e.g. vicodin), IV (e.g. Xanax) and V (e.g. pyrovalerone) controlled substances are prescribed and dispensed.