On Monday, Gov. Cuomo signed into law a bill that is intended to address prescription drug abuse by dramatically changing how New York tracks narcotic painkillers, known as I-STOP (“Internet System for Stopping Over-Prescription”).

It makes a number of changes to the manner in which prescription drugs are distributed and tracked in New York State, including:

–           enacting a “real time prescription monitoring registry”

–           requiring all prescriptions to be electronically transmitted

–           improving safeguards for the distribution of specific prescription drugs that are prone to abuse

–           charging a workgroup of stakeholders with helping to guide the development of medical education courses and other public awareness measures regarding pain management and prescription drugs

–           requiring the Department of Health to establish a safe disposal program for unused medications.

In his statement, Gov. Cuomo said:

“Too many families in New York State have suffered the loss of a teenager or youth as a result of prescription drug abuse.  With this new law, New York State is tackling this problem head-on, and giving law enforcement and medical professionals the tools they need to stop abuse before it occurs and crack down on offenders.”