NY Senate passes bill targeting painkiller abuse

HICKSVILLE - The state Senate passed a bill today aimed at cracking down on illegal prescription drug abuse. The bill would put tighter controls on the widely-abused drug hydrocodone, among others. Currently, people with a prescription for hydrocodone can get up to five refills without another doctor visit. The new bill would reclassify the drug so that users would need to see a doctor before getting a single refill. The bill would also require tighter security for pharmacies that store hydrocodone. Investigators say the drug is what convicted killer David Laffer was after when he gunned down four people in a Medford pharmacy last summer.The legislation must still be considered by the state Assembly. Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also proposed legislation to create a real-time online database that would target so-called "doctor-shoppers" by tracking prescriptions for controlled substances. That bill is under review by state lawmakers.

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