Albany, N.Y. (WKBW) - This Saturday, refill prescriptions will no longer be allowed for the painkiller Hydrocodone, a drug that is widely prescribed by doctors and highly addictive.
Patients will only be able to get a 30-day supply and every month a new prescription from a doctor will be needed to get a refill. The new law called I-Stop is working toward cutting down drug abuse and addiction. Medical experts said prescription drug use is becoming a major problem in the state, including here in Western New York.
The state has already taken some action against this problem, providing doctors with an electronic database to check to see if a patient is getting the same drug from another healthcare professional. They said this computer system would stop what experts call "doctor shopping" where people go to many different doctors to get prescriptions for the same drug.
"There was a crisis. There were people dying all over America where people were becoming addicted without even intending to and Western New York became a hotbed for some of the most widely abused pain killers, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Phentonal," State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
Experts said the downfall is that patients who really need the drug will have to go back monthly to get it. It is unclear at this time if those patients will be charged each month.
There is an exception to the rule. Doctors can prescribe a 90-day supply of Hydrocodone to patients with chronic pain.