June 11, 2012

Assembly Passes Landmark Legislation to
Curb Prescription Drug Abuse

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, and Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried today announced the passage of the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act that would create an online, real-time database to track the dispensing of prescription drugs.

"Through the approval of this landmark legislation, New York will become one of the first states to require a real-time database for tracking prescription drugs, to ensure patients receive the medication they need and to deter those who seek to abuse them," said Silver. "This legislation will implement important reforms to better protect New Yorkers from the harmful effects of prescription drug abuse. I commend Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman for taking the lead on this issue, and my colleagues in the legislature for supporting this important life-saving measure."

A series of provisions included in the bill (A.10623/Cusick) would reform the way prescription drugs are distributed and tracked in New York State by:

Assemblyman Michael Cusick, sponsor of the measure, said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo, Attorney General Schneiderman, Speaker Silver, Senator Lanza and all of my colleagues who worked together to craft this comprehensive prescription drug reform bill. My district in Staten Island has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the state and that is why I have been advocating for meaningful reform for two years. Many families have been affected by this crisis and the legislation is aimed at not only saving lives but putting fragile family lives back together. This truly was a culmination of hard work and team effort resulting in a bill that provides appropriate controls to restrict access of abusers and ensure those who profit from the abuse face the necessary consequences."

The bill also includes provisions to expand the functions of the existing Prescription Pain Medication Awareness Program, to make recommendations on:

"I-STOP will save lives," said Gottfried. "By implementing an electronic, drug-monitoring prescribing system and preserving patient access, we can prevent prescription drug abuse and the harm that comes with it."