State database to fight prescription drug fraud, addiction urged by A.G. Schneiderman
Gregg Dworkin nearly lost his leg when he crashed his motorcycle on a desert highway in Arizona 13 years ago.
While the 26-year-old survived the 120-mph wipeout, he started abusing painkillers.
“When I was running around chasing doctors, ‘doctor shopping,’ I just couldn’t believe I was getting away with this,” said Dworkin, a recovering abuser who has lectured high school students in Westchester and Rockland counties. “I was going to Duane Reade on one corner and CVS on another to fill prescriptions, really laughing at the system. It occurred to me how easy it would be to stop me from doing this.”
State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman thinks he’s found the way. Hoping to attack the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, he called Wednesday for legislation requiring doctors and pharmacists to use a statewide Internet database to review patients’ prescription histories and report when new ones are written and filled.
Dr. Robert Marcus, director of the emergency department at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, said the state database could help his staff counter the growing problem.
The abuse of legitimately produced controlled substances that are channeled into the illicit drug trade is the “nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, and in recent years has reached epidemic proportions,” Schneiderman says in a new, 42-page report. “It affects every sector of society, straining our health-care and criminal justice systems.”
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