(WBNG Binghamton) Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Tuesday joined elected officials and community leaders from New York to celebrate the implementation of a key component of New York State's innovative program for preventing prescription drug abuse.
According to a news release from Schneiderman's office:
Introduced in June 2011 by Attorney General Schneiderman and unanimously passed by the Legislature in 2012, the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act is a national model for other states and Congress to follow to curb prescription drug abuse, the nation's fastest-growing drug problem.
I-STOP set up a real-time database that tracks every prescription for opioid pills that gets filled in New York State. Starting today, doctors are required under the law to consult that database before writing any prescriptions for a Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance, including narcotic painkillers. New York is now the only state in the country with such a verification requirement. This critical tool will provide medical professionals with the information necessary to detect doctor-shoppers and better serve patients at risk of addiction. This information will also serve to avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.
"One year ago today, I-STOP became law, creating a national model for smart, coordinated communication between health care providers and pharmacists to better serve patients, stop prescription drug trafficking, and provide treatment to those who need help," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Illegal trafficking in prescription drugs poses an enormous danger to the public. I-STOP has already started reducing the supply of opioid painkillers on the street, even before mandatory verification took effect. Now, New York is leading the nation in the fight to protect the public from the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse. "