Congressman Brian Higgins spoke from the Floor of the House of Representatives today to celebrate the passage of New York’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) law. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was in Western New York yesterday to discuss the benefits of this new program.
I-STOP is a state-led program that uses online databases to help doctors and pharmacists track the prescribing and dispensing of frequently abused prescription drugs. Adoption of this law brings New York into the ranks of a number of other states that have already modernized their approach to stopping the prescription drug abuse epidemic.
In January of this year, Congressman Higgins and his colleague, Congressman Grimm, led a bipartisan state delegation letter to New York State legislators urging the passage of I-STOP.
In May, Congressman Higgins convened a meeting with Avi and Julie Israel, Western New York-based prescription drug abuse advocates, and key leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to discuss the federal government’s role in tackling prescription drug abuse.
The text of Congressman Higgins’ speech is below:
Yesterday New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was in Western New York to celebrate the passage of New York State’s I-STOP law. This law uses online databases to connect doctors and pharmacists to combat the tragic prescription drug abuse epidemic.
I was pleased to join the effort by leading a bipartisan state delegation letter in support of this law. While there were many important players in the passage of this bill, I would like to especially congratulate Senator Tim Kennedy and Avi and Julie Israel for their efforts.
The passage of I-STOP raises awareness of the growing importance of integrating health information technology and electronic medical records into the field of health care.
Mr. Speaker, I am hopeful that other states move to implement this and other electronic medical record technologies. This is a serious problem and it is our responsibility to act swiftly.