The Problem Of Prescription Drugs In New York

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With the Internet System for Tracking Over Prescribing (I-STOP) program, New York hopes to grapple with the problem of addicts and doctor shoppers and reduce the flow of illicit prescription drug use. 

In October of this year, Long Island doctor Leonard Stambler was convicted by a federal jury on conspiracy and distribution charges related to providing oxycodone to his patients. Information revealed during the action included: 

  • After a trial lasting three weeks, it took the jury approximately four hours to find Dr. Stambler guilty. The federal prosecutor described Dr. Stambler as a “lonely guy” who prescribed drugs to make friends — and profited financially from the deals.
  • Dr. Stambler wrote prescriptions for hundreds of pills and assisted in the procurement and sale of pills.
  • Two patients testified to the involvement of Dr. Stambler in helping them obtain and sell oxycodone.
  • Dr. Stambler, now 62, faces a potential prison sentence of 20 years and saw his bail revoked pending sentencing. 

In August, New York launched I-STOP. Recognizing the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, New York aims to give health care providers access to prescription drug histories and make transparent the actions and transactions of doctor shoppers

In full effect, all practitioners are required to use I-STOP before prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.