Lawmakers mull passing 'I-Stop' to prescription drug abuse

WEST BABYLON - The state Assembly is considering legislation called "I-Stop" which is intended to improve the way prescription pain medications are being tracked.

The measure, which was proposed by the New York attorney general's office, would create an online drug database and crack down on the practice of doctor shopping, which entails approaching multiple doctors for prescriptions.

Most local pharmacists applaud the new "I-Stop" proposal, but they point out that a similar system is already in place in New York.

Pharmacist Howard Levine says every 30 days, he sends lists that itemize the doctor, patient, the drug and the prescription number.

"I-Stop" would make lists available immediately to both doctors and drug stores, and would give advance warning of previous fraud and drug abuse. Levine says that would be helpful in light of last Sunday's drug-store killings in Medford, which were allegedly motivated by the suspect's addiction.

The "I-Stop" bill is now before the Assembly's Health Committee and could become law before the end of the year.

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