Requires information on each prescription issued by a practitioner to be submitted to the department of health; grants an exemption from the confidentiality provisions for prescriptions when a disclosure is made to a pharmacist when a patient has obtained controlled substances from another pharmacist, thus indicating drug abuse or diversion; directs the department of health to establish a report on prescription patterns in the state; and establishes a safe disposal of prescription drugs task force.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to filing of prescription information with the department of health, disclosure of patient information, establishing a report on prescription patterns in the state and establishing a safe disposal of prescription drugs task force
PURPOSE: This bill would help combat the problem of prescription drug abuse by improving the quality of prescription data collected by the Department of Health and making this data more accessible to distributors and law enforcement officials. The bill would also set up a task force to create comprehensive new rules regarding the disposal of unused prescription drugs.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends Public Health Law section 3332 to mandate that prescribers submit electronic records of prescriptions to the department in such manner required by the commissioner.
Section 2: Amends Public Health Law section 3371 to allow for the disclosure of patient prescription information to pharmacists and institutional dispensers where circumstances indicate the possibility of drug abuse or diversion.
Section 3: Amends the Public Health Law by adding two new sections to the law:
The new section 3375 of the public health law mandates that the department, in consultation with relevant law enforcement develop a report on patterns of prescriptions in the state based on information collected by the department. Once finalized, the report is to be updated quarterly and made available upon request.
The new section 3376 of the public health law would establish the Safe Disposal of Prescription Drug Task Force. The task force, which would be comprised of fourteen members and chaired by the commissioner, will work to assess existing laws and regulations on the disposal of expired or unused prescription drugs, assess the evidence regarding the role of unused prescriptions on diversion and possible health effects from current ways of disposing of these drugs, examine what regulatory and legal changes would have to be made to enact a new statewide system for the disposal of these drugs, and within nine months of their first convening the task force shall present the governor and the legislature with their report and proposals for possible new programs governing the safe disposal of prescription drugs.
JUSTIFICATION: There has been a very dramatic rise in the abuse of prescription drugs in the last decade. The numbers are striking - in 1998, admissions for drug abuse treatment of pain relievers accounted for 1% of admissions and by 2008 that had gone up to 5.6%. According to the
2008 National Survey on Drug use showed that prescription pain killers were the second most abused drug in those over 12 years old after marijuana. In fact, drug overdoses had become the second highest source of injury deaths in the United States by 2007, surpassing homicides and suicides, and second only to car accidents and prescription drug overdoses account for the great bulk of that increase. Between 1997 and 2007 fatal heroin overdoses have remained relatively steady around 2,000 and cocaine overdoses have risen from around 4,000 a year to around 6,000. In comparison, Prescription opioid pain killer overdoses have risen from 2,900 to 11,500, a 296% increase.
This epidemic has hit both the young and the old. Surveys by the Partnership for a Drug Free America have shown that 20% of teenagers surveyed reported having used a prescription painkiller for non-medical purposes. Information from the National survey and Drug Use and Health has shown that by 2009 close to 4% of adults over 50 years old reported using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, a figure that had risen from 2.2% in 2004.
While New York has not suffered as badly as other States, with a rate of accidental drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents lower than the national average, that does not mean that the State has escaped the problems that come along with prescription drug abuse. Testimony by Bridget Brennan, the special Narcotics Prosecutor for NYC in front of the Public Safety committee of the NYC council illuminates the scope of the problem. According to Ms. Brennan, there were a million prescriptions for Oxycontin alone (not counting any other opioid pain killer) filled in NYC in 2010. This represented a 97% increase over the last 3 years, with the highest increases in Brooklyn and the Bronx (where prescriptions grew by over 100% in those three years). Just as nationally the increased use of these drugs has led to increased deaths, in NYC the increase in use has led to an increase in crimes related to prescription drug diversion. According to Ms. Brennan, in 2007 6% of her office's caseload was related to prescription drugs. In 2010, 15% of their caseload was related to prescription drugs. She highlighted a growing connection between prescription drugs and guns by noting a couple of cases in which raids found arsenals of weapons along with prescription drugs.
In order to combat this growing threat, New York State needs to implement new procedures that will enhance the ability of health care professionals, the department of health, and law enforcement to deal with the problem of prescription drug abuse. An important step we can take is to require that not only dispensers but also physicians transmit electronic records of prescriptions to the department of health. This additional data would assist in finding cases where individuals might be submitting forged prescriptions in order to gain access to prescription drugs. The bill would also give pharmacists and institutional dispensers access to patient prescription drug information in order for them to combat the scourge of individuals conducting "doctor shopping."
The department of health would have to develop a report analyzing the prescription drug data it collects in order to highlight patters that might expose instances of prescription drug diversion. By regularly
having to update this report, the department will be better able to spot possible dangerous patterns sooner and will be able to work with law enforcement officials in a more effective manner to uncover circumstances of diversion.
Finally, this legislation would establish the safe disposal of prescription drug task force. Studies like the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health have shown that left-over and unused prescription drugs are one source of illegally diverted prescription drugs. Many localities and organizations conduct drug collection events that bring in substantial amounts of drugs, which shows that many individuals hold on to unused prescriptions until they find a trustworthy method of disposing of them. The state should be proactive and create a system by which individuals can dispose of unused prescriptions without having to wait for some organization to set up an event.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:; 2012 - S. 5877 - Referred to Health Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law; provided that, effective immediately, any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2364 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to filing of prescription information with the department of health, disclosure of patient information, establishing a report on prescription patterns in the state and establishing a safe disposal of prescription drugs task force THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 3332 of the public health law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5 to read as follows: 5. THE PRACTITIONER SHALL FILE THE INFORMATION INCLUDED ON EACH SUCH PRESCRIPTION WITH THE DEPARTMENT BY ELECTRONIC MEANS IN SUCH MANNER, FORM AND DETAIL AS SHALL BE REQUIRED BY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION. S 2. Paragraph (f) of subdivision 1 of section 3371 of the public health law, as added by section 4 of part A of chapter 447 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: (f) to a pharmacist OR INSTITUTIONAL DISPENSER to provide information regarding prescriptions for controlled substances presented to the phar- macist OR INSTITUTIONAL DISPENSER for the purposes of subdivision two of this section and to facilitate the department's review of individual challenges to the accuracy of controlled substances histories pursuant to subdivision six of section thirty-three hundred forty-three-a of this article; S 3. The public health law is amended by adding two new sections 3375 and 3376 to read as follows: S 3375. REPORT ON PRESCRIPTION PATTERNS IN THE STATE. 1. THE DEPART- MENT SHALL DEVELOP A DRAFT REPORT USING EXISTING PRESCRIPTION DATA IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY ANY POSSIBLE PATTERNS IN THE PRESCRIPTION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES WITHIN THE STATE, SPECIFICALLY AIMED AT EXPOSINGEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06718-01-3 S. 2364 2
ANY PATTERNS THAT SUGGEST CASES OF THE DIVERSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL CONSULT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND ANY RELEVANT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND OFFICES IN THE STATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH DRAFT REPORT. 2. UPON APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT REPORT, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAKE THE REPORT AVAILABLE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES UPON REQUEST. 3. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL UPDATE SUCH REPORT ON A QUARTERLY BASIS. 4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED TO AUTHORIZE THE DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY FEDERAL LAW OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER. S 3376. SAFE DISPOSAL OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TASK FORCE. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED, IN THE DEPARTMENT, A SAFE DISPOSAL OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS TASK FORCE. SUCH TASK FORCE SHALL BE COMPOSED OF FOURTEEN MEMBERS, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE THE COMMISSIONER OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE, AND THIR- TEEN MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONER. OF THE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONER, A MEMBER SHALL BE APPOINTED FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOW- ING: THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, A PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER, THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVA- TION, THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, A PHARMACIST OR A MEMBER OF A TRADE ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING PHARMACISTS, A PHYSICIAN OR A MEMBER OF A TRADE ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING PHYSICIANS, A PERSON WITH EXPERTISE IN HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PHARMACEU- TICAL INDUSTRY, A PERSON WITH EXPERTISE IN WASTE MANAGEMENT, A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL, AND A PERSON WITH EXPERTISE IN TOXICOLOGY. THE COMMISSIONER OR HIS OR HER DESIGNEE SHALL BE THE CHAIR OF THE TASK FORCE. 2. THE MEMBERS OF THE TASK FORCE SHALL SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE MEMBERS APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONER SHALL BE ALLOWED THEIR NECESSARY AND ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORM- ANCE OF THEIR DUTIES PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. 3. THE TASK FORCE SHALL: (A) ASSESS EXISTING LAWS, ESPECIALLY THIS CHAPTER, THE PENAL LAW AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW, AND EXISTING REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ABILITY OF INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS OR FACILITIES TO DISPOSE OF EXPIRED OR UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS; (B) EXAMINE ALL AVAILABLE EVIDENCE AND SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE REGARDING THE DIVERSION OF EXPIRED OR UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AS WELL AS ANY EVIDENCE REGARDING THE POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF THE EXISTING METHODS OF DISPOSAL OF EXPIRED OR UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS; (C) DETERMINE POSSIBLE LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY CHANGES NECESSARY TO ENACT ANY PROGRAM DESIGNED TO FACILITATE THE DISPOSAL OF EXPIRED OR UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN A SAFE AND SECURE MANNER; AND (D) PREPARE PROPOSALS BASED ON ITS FINDINGS FOR STATE-WIDE PROGRAMS THAT WOULD IMPROVE UPON EXISTING RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE DISPOSAL OF EXPIRED OR UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. 4. THE TASK FORCE SHALL WITHIN NINE MONTHS OF FIRST CONVENING, PREPARE AND SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE WHICH SHALL INCLUDE ITS FINDINGS ON THE EXISTING LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK GOVERNING THE DISPOSAL OF EXPIRED OR UNUSED PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, THE HEALTH AND SAFETY DANGERS CREATED BY DIVERSION OF THESE DRUGS AND THEIR CURRENT MANNER OF DISPOSAL, AND CHANGES NECESSARY TO ENACT ANY NEW SYSTEM OR PROGRAM FOR THE SAFE DISPOSAL OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. 5. THE TASK FORCE SHALL CONSULT WITH ANY ORGANIZATION, EDUCATION INSTITUTION, GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR INDIVIDUAL POSSESSING RELEVANT INFOR- MATION OR EXPERTISE.S. 2364 3
S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided that section two of this act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as section 4 of part A of chapter 447 of the laws of 2012 takes effect; and provided, further, that, effective immediately, any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such date.