A bill co-sponsored by Assemblyman Dean Murray to open a state database to pharmacists in an effort to combat prescription drug abuse was approved by the Assembly on Monday.
“This legislation will provide tools to health-care providers involved in a patient’s health-care decisions,” Murray, R-East Patchogue, said in a press release of bill A.3806, which would give pharmacists access to the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program data. “Providers will have the information to make the right prescription-drug choices for the patient in their care. It also will give pharmacists the ability to combat prescription fraud.”
The bill, which now heads to the State Senate, is also intended to combat "doctor-shopping," Murray said.
David Laffer, to four consecutive life terms in prison for last Father's quadruple homicide at a Medford pharmacy, admitted to doctor-shopping to feed an addiction to painkillers.
“Today was a big step in the right direction for Long Island as well as the rest of our state,” Murray said. “What happened last June will never be forgotten. It's important that we find ways to prevent this sort of tragedy from recurring."
Another Murray bill currently in the Assembly would require the State Department of Health to create an electronic prescription monitoring program and requires pharmacists to submit certain information to such program every time a controlled substance is prescribed or dispensed.
By doing this, pharmacists would be able to instantly see real-time updates as to when controlled substance prescriptions were dispensed, further cracking down on prescription fraud and drug abuse, Murray said.