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Post date: March 25 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Op-Ed: Don't Let NY Go Backwards In The Fight Against Opioid Addiction

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman wrote an op-ed in Newsday urging policymakers to reject efforts by special interest groups that would gut critical provisions of New York's landmark opioid abuse prevention program, I-STOP.  Highlights from the op-ed are below:

ON THE EFFECTS ON I-STOP LEGISLATION: One of the most successful programs New York has created is its groundbreaking Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, which requires physicians to consult a statewide database of a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. New York is the first state in the nation to adopt the reform.

Since the program went into effect in August 2013, I-STOP has been successful. So-called “doctor shopping” — where patients go from doctor-to-doctor getting multiple opioid prescriptions, which they can then use or sell — is down 90 percent.  At the end of this month, the program is set to make even greater progress, by virtually eliminating paper prescriptions and requiring nearly all prescriptions to be submitted to a secure online portal in real-time by “E-Prescribing.” 

ON ATTEMPTS BY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS TO UNDERMINE I-STOP LEGISLATION:…Some of the state’s most powerful special interests — including the Medical Society of the State of New York and the NYS Health Facilities Association — are trying to stop our progress dead in its tracks. They’ve proposed legislation to gut these new prescription safeguards by exempting many doctors and nursing homes from the requirements — opening the door to exactly the kind of doctor-shopping I-STOP is designed to prevent.

These changes would undermine patient health and our state’s efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. The state database must be comprehensive to properly protect patients, doctors, pharmacists and those who suffer from addiction.

The full op-ed can be read here.