Albany - (WALK) After just three days in service, New York State's new pain killer prescription tracking system is already showing evidence of "doctor shopping" by drug abusers.
The system, known as I-STOP (Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing), went into service Tuesday, August 27. By Thursday, doctors were able to identify approximatley 200 patients suspected of score pain pills from multiple sources, according to the state department of Health.
During three days, 16,352 doctors, pharmacists and prescribing health-providers used the I-STOP system to conduct 162,719 searches for 146,156 people. A key facet of the system is the ability for pharmacists to aquire real-time reporting, to see when prescriptions for opiod pain killers are filled, a way to avoid overprescribing, and to see how often a person attempts to fill prescriptions.
The I-STOP program was inspired by the national epidemic of prescription pain killer abuse, including fatal cases on Long Island such as the "Medford Massacre" pharmacy robbery in June of 2011, when four people were murdered, and the accidental, fatal shooting of a federal ATF&E agent by Nassau police during a pharmacy robbery in Seaford in December of 2011.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ USNavy