Senator Kennedy Announces Reform Legislation Approved to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

 
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I-STOP is central component of comprehensive reform bill, which the Senate passed Monday.


ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-58th District, announced the Senate approval of comprehensive reform legislation to prevent prescription drug abuse. The central component of the legislation is the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP), which establishes a real-time prescription drug tracking system. The legislation also requires e-prescriptions of controlled substances, improves training and education for practitioners, expands awareness among patients and the public, creates year-round drug-disposal sites and updates controlled substance schedules.


Last fall, Senator Tim Kennedy and Avi Israel joined forces to announce a new legislative package that they called the Michael David Israel Laws. The bills – which outlined a comprehensive approach to addressing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse – were named for Mr. Israel’s son, Michael, who took his own life after battling addiction to painkillers.


A year and one week after Michael Israel’s death, comprehensive reform legislation – which Senator Kennedy cosponsored – has passed the Senate. Many of the concepts originally proposed in the Michael David Israel Laws – such as drug-tracking reform, physician training, patient information and electronic prescriptions – are included in the final negotiated bill.


Senator Kennedy spoke on the Senate floor to highlight the impact this legislation will have on the ongoing efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse. You can view his remarks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZndpujH9Aw.


“This is a major victory for the families of this state who understand first-hand the devastation of prescription drug abuse,” said Senator Kennedy. “Over the months we’ve been fighting for action on prescription drug abuse, we’ve met so many Western New York families who have lost sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to this growing epidemic. Each death has been a tragedy, and sadly, devastating tragedies like this have been happening every day across New York State. The families, who channeled their grief into action, fueled this movement to combat prescription drug abuse. Without their courageous advocacy, we would not have passed this important legislation today. Their successful lobbying efforts demonstrate the public’s power to initiate reform when we all stand up together and demand change – and change has been desperately needed to stop this health crisis.


“This comprehensive legislation is the right solution to curb the skyrocketing number of overdoses, suicides, and crimes connected to prescription drug abuse. We owe Attorney General Schneiderman a great deal of credit for taking action to address this growing crisis that is hitting our communities hard,” Kennedy added. “I also want to thank Governor Cuomo for his great leadership and persistent efforts to pass this important legislation.”


You can read the full legislation at http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S7637-2011. You can also find information on the legislation from the Attorney General at: http://www.ag.ny.gov/print/35419.


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Senator Timothy M. Kennedy represents the New York State Senate’s 58th District, which is comprised of the towns of Cheektowaga, Eden, Hamburg and West Seneca, the city of Lackawanna and the city of Buffalo. More information is available at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.