NY's "Model" Law Combats Rx Pill Abuse
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A New York law aiming to curb abuse of prescription painkillers is being called a "model" for the rest of the country. Called The I-STOP (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing) Plan, the measure relies on a central database of prescriptions that will reveal if a patient has been "doctor shopping" for extra pills. The new law will require doctors and pharmacists to use the database to monitor their patients' prescriptions, in order to prevent Rx drug abuse—which kills one person in the US every 19 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The measure will also provide police-run sites where people can discard their used prescription drugs, to help keep the drugs out of people's homes where they can be discovered by family members, including children. The I-STOP Plan, which state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman assures "will save lives," was recently passed by New York Legislature and is now awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature before it comes into action next year. "I truly believe that this is the most important legislation that we have seen passed in decades," said Sen. Andrew Lanza. "And that's because this problem, this scourge, this epidemic, is so severe that it's ripped apart families across the nation." According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, oxycodone sales in New York have risen by 1,200 percent between 2000 and 2010. The loophole in the measure is that it currently only covers New York, and Schneiderman says that addicted patients may continue to get their prescriptions filled in other states. “That's why it's paramount that other states consider emulating New York,” he said, adding that “the best solution would be a federal database.”