Kennedy-cosponsored measure to prevent prescription drug abuse becomes law
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, announced new measures to prevent prescription drug abuse have been signed into law. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed I-STOP, or the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing, into law Monday.
“When the Governor signed I-STOP into law, New York State became a leader in the fight against prescription drug abuse,” said Senator Kennedy. “This effort began more than a year ago, and in that time, we’ve met so many local 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.
“I was truly inspired by the courageous efforts of the Western New York families who channeled their grief into action and fueled this movement to combat prescription drug abuse. Without their tireless advocacy, we may not have had the momentum we needed to pass this important legislation. 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 numbers of overdoses, suicides, and crimes connected to prescription drug abuse. We were proud to stand with families and leaders from across our state to push this bill through the Legislature," Kennedy added. "I want to extend great appreciation to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and persistent efforts to pass this important legislation. We also owe Attorney General Schneiderman a great deal of credit for taking action to address this growing crisis that has been hitting our communities hard.”
In addition to co-sponsoring the I-STOP legislation, Senator Kennedy also introduced a legislative package known as the Michael David Israel Laws earlier this year. Named for a young Western New Yorker who took his own life after battling prescription drug addiction, the Michael David Israel Laws targeted several areas in need of reform, including controlled-substance tracking, physician training, patient information and electronic prescriptions. Many of these concepts were included in the now-approved I-STOP bill.
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 parts of the city of Buffalo. More information is available at http://kennedy.nysenate.gov.