WNY Lawmakers Announce Landmark Drug Bill

June 9, 2012 Updated Jun 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

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June 9, 2012 Updated Jun 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Western New York lawmakers were joined by area families who have been affected by prescription drug abuse, to announce an agreement on real-time prescription monitoring and oversight.

The Internet System for Tracking Over Prescribing, or "I-STOP" bill will create a database that doctors will be required to consult before prescribing certain medications to patients.

It will also introduce real-time tracking and monitoring of prescriptions, which lawmakers say will significantly limit opportunities for "doctor shoppers" to illegally procure prescriptions from multiple practitioners.

Pharmacists would also be required to report to and cross-check the prescription database before dispensing certain drugs and pain killers.

The measure had received some resistance from a few doctors groups in the state, who worried that this legislation would place too big of a burden on physicians, and that it could create a situation where doctors stopped prescribing necessary medications because of the strict mandates.

The also say it could infringe on patient privacy.

Though the bill will not be officially voted on for a few weeks, once passed it will create education and awareness programs for prescribers along with creating a new safe drug disposal program.

It will also increase restrictions and regulations on Hydrocodone.

Lawmakers hope to have the new regulations implemented by the end of this year and the prescription database up and running by next year.