The state's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, aims to crack down on “doctor shopping”—the practice some addicts use to obtain prescriptions for painkillers by seeking care from multiple doctors.
Regional News/Northeast: N.Y.'s I-STOP program cited for drop in 'doctor shopping' for drugs
And it's had some quick success, Dr. Nirav Shah, commissioner of the state's Health Department, reported at a public hearing on the 2014-15 executive budget proposal. Calling I-STOP a “national model” for controlling substance abuse, he reported that there was a 74.9% decrease in doctor shopping in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the same period the previous year. The program went into effect in June 2013 and created a prescription-monitoring registry that includes real-time information from pharmacies on which controlled substances are being dispensed.
Since August, more than 66,000 clinicians have run 7 million prescription checks on 2.9 million patients, according to a news release. I-STOP replaced an earlier program that was used by only 5,100 providers and monitored less than 466,000 patients in 3½ years.
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