At NYSAM’s meeting on March 19, 2012, the board voted to endorse MSSNY’s position paper on prescription drug abuse. The report opposes the Attorney General’s Proposal for mandatory online check of prescription histories every time a controlled prescription is written. The Attorney General’s office was represented at our Public Policy Forum on Prescription Drug Abuse. Over 100 people were present at our forum, where both the Attorney General’s office and Assemblymen Gottfried and Assemblyman Cymbowitz spoke. Numerous NYSAM members stepped to the microphones to ask questions and expressed their opinions. Most members wanted physicians to have access to prescription histories of patients seeking controlled substances, but they were concerned about mandatory online checking with stiff penalties if an online check was not done on every occasion. Many thought there were additional things which could be done about the problem including education of physicians and the public.
NYSAM was not opposed to the objectives of the Attorney General’s report, but were opposed to the rigid methods and penalties. Afterwards, there were meetings with NYSAM members and the Attorney General’s office to see if there was any room for compromise. We felt that the technology was not yet available to do what the Attorney General wanted done without great effort on the part of physicians. The Attorney General’s position was that we should trust them to be reasonable. The MSSNY position which we have endorsed asks for the Health Department to make prescription histories easily available and encourages voluntary checking by physicians of that history. (Please click here to see a copy of the Report) NYSAM plans to join MSSNY and other groups in lobbying against this position and the draconian proposals of the Attorney General’s office. NYSAM members who want to join in this lobbying effort, should contact our president, Norm Wetterau via email at email@example.com
For ASAM’S FULL POSITION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE, GO TO THE ASAM WEBSITE AT www.asam.org.