A New York Times editorial states that it is "encourag[ing]" that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and legislative leaders are approaching a deal on legislation that would implement "a real-time online database to keep track of prescriptions for controlled substances that are frequently abused."
According to the editorial, New York's current prescription drug reporting system lacks an "effective mechanism for the state, doctors or pharmacists to track prescriptions or verify their validity."
The editorial states that the new legislation would require doctors "to use the database to review a patient's prescription history before prescribing and to report when new prescriptions are issued." It adds, "Pharmacists would be required to review the history and confirm that a prescription was written and entered by a legitimate doctor before the drug is dispensed."
The editorial notes that the database could help identify doctors who are overprescribing controlled substances. It adds that the online system also "could help protect patients from dangerous drug interactions and combat prescription forgeries and 'doc shopping,' in which addicts visit multiple doctors to build up a cache of prescription drugs" (New York Times, 4/25).