Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NY Officials Call State’s New Prescription Drug Monitoring System a Model for Country

By Join Together Staff | July 17, 2012 | Leave a comment | Filed in Community Related, Legislation, Prescription Drugs & Prevention

New York’s new prescription drug monitoring system, which will show pharmacists in real time whether patients have been “doctor shopping” for drugs, is a model for the rest of the country, state officials said Monday.

The Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing, or I-STOP, was recently approved by both houses of the state legislature, according to the Associated Press. It is awaiting the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and will go into effect next year, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

Under the new system, physicians and pharmacists will be required to monitor a patient’s prescription history before they write or dispense prescriptions for painkillers that contain oxycodone, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan.

Since the new system will operate only in New York, there is no way to ensure that patients are not getting prescriptions filled in other states, Schneiderman said. He is urging other states to adopt the system, and added that the best solution would be a federal drug monitoring database.

“With I-STOP, we are creating a national model for smart, coordinated communication between health care providers and pharmacists to better serve patients, stop prescription drug trafficking, and provide treatment to those who need help,” Schneiderman said in a news release.

Earlier this year, several state medical groups said they opposed the system, including the Medical Society of the State of New York, which represents 30,000 doctors. The group said it was concerned that the system would create a burden on physicians’ practices. The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York also said it opposes I-STOP because of added demands the system would create for pharmacies.

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