New York State has implemented a drug monitoring database system known as I-STOP (Internet System For Tracking Over Prescribing). The law, which went into effect August 27, 2013, requires both doctors and pharmacists to track a patient's prescription history. In addition, doctors are now required to consult the database before prescribing schedule II, III or IV controlled substances. Under the new system, pharmacists will perform real time reporting when filling most controlled substances.
The purpose behind the new law is multi-fold and is professed to include, among other things:
1. Detection and prevention of dangerous drug interactions.
2. Identification of patterns of abuse.
3. Prevention of drug addiction.
4. Improvement of patient care.
5. Reduction in stolen and forged prescriptions.
6. Prevention of "Doc Shopping".
7. Assist in the prosecution of controlled substance offenders.
8. Money savings to insurers and the public.
Perhaps the most publicized potential benefit to the new law, is that by design it will drastically reduce the ability of people to "Doc Shop". That is the ability of someone to receive and fill duplicitous prescriptions, by going from doctor to doctor and pharmacy to pharmacy. In a further effort to eradicate stolen and forged prescriptions in NY, by December 2014 controlled substances will only be available by e-prescription. It appears that the new law ultimatley seeks to prove the adage "An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure".
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.