Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Big moves are being made in the state of New York in an attempt to combat the ever growing prescription drug abuse taking place every day across the nation. This week a new bill was introduced by the New York Assembly that would put in place a real-time database for prescriptions of controlled substances. At the end of the day it seems that the only real way to cut down on prescription drug trafficking is keep track of everyone being prescribed such drugs and making sure that they are actually taking their medicine. Real testing needs to take place, that would not only identify whether or not the prescribed drug is in the patient's system but how much of the drug is present - the levels.
It has become common practice for people planning to sell their medications to take one pill before they go in for their drug test. As long as any amount of the drug is in the patient's system, doctors will continue to call in refills. It is easy to see the flaws in the way doctors are currently monitoring their patients across the board. The New York bill would mandate doctors and pharmacists to update the database every time a prescription for a controlled substance is prescribed and filled by the patient. Right now, pharmacists are only required to report twice a month and doctors in New York are not required to report at all.
Fortunately New York is not the only state taking action to curb a problem that they let get out of control. 35 states with monitoring systems are in operation and 13 that have approved such programs according to the Alliance of States With Prescription Monitoring Programs. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that would work to stop ‘pill mills’ in the state, impeding patients from going to multiple doctors for pain narcotics.
Oxycodone prescriptions rose 66 percent in the city between 2007 and 2009, according to Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General.