New York State Sen. Lee M. Zeldin, R, C, I- Shirley, is co-sponsoring legislation to crack down on prescription drug abuse.
Zeldin's Senate District includes Medford, where a recent shooting at Haven Drugs took the lives of four people.
The legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Andrew J. Lanza, R-Staten Island and Assemblyman Michael Cusick, D- Staten Island, will create an online database to report and track the prescription and dispensation of certain controlled substances.
Dubbed the “Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act,” or “I-STOP,” it would provide health care practitioners and pharmacists with the necessary information to help prevent over-prescribing, crack down on prescription drug trafficking, and identify and help treat prescription drug abusers, legislators said.
“If the appropriate controls were previously in effect, Medford shooting suspect David Laffer’s prescription drug addiction could have possibly been mitigated and a tragedy could have been avoided,” said Zeldin. “The reality is that prescription drug addiction is a daily challenge for too many New Yorkers and the necessary controls are missing. The benefits of this legislation go beyond avoiding harmful situations, by addressing the thousands of daily struggles that don’t make the news.”
The act would amend the New York State Public Health Law to establish an online, real-time database as part of a controlled substance reporting system maintained by the New York State Department of Health.
Health care practitioners and pharmacists would be required to report specific information to the database when Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances such as, oxycodone and morphine (Schedule II), vicodin (Schedule III), Xanax and Klonopin (Schedule IV), and pyrovalerone (Schedule V) are prescribed and dispensed.
New York State currently operates a limited prescription drug monitoring program. Similar prescription drug monitoring programs are already in effect in 43 states.