HANNON BILLS TO COMBAT PRESCRIPTION FRAUD AND ABUSE PASSED BY SENATE
“Prescription drug abuse and overdose death from prescription pain killers are at a crisis stage in New York and nationwide,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “Two of my bills have been passed by the Senate and will prevent prescription drug fraud, theft and abuse.”
The measures (Senate bills 2940 and 2941) address the illegal distribution of controlled substances by helping to reduce the availability of black market prescription forms and prosecuting “pill mills” that issue prescriptions and knowingly dispense controlled substances for profit.
“S.2940 will combat the new problem of using blank official prescriptions forms by establishing criminal penalties for anyone who steals or uses stolen blank prescription forms,” said Hannon. “This is necessary to combat the criminal diversion of prescription drugs, which feeds addiction, increases overdose and suicide rates, and rules drug dealer profits.”
Overdoses connected to prescription drug abuse have increased significantly and other crimes committed by those addicted to painkillers continue to take a toll on communities. One of the more tragic crimes took place on June 19, 2011, when David Laffer executed four people during a robbery in a drug store in Medford, Suffolk County. He had gone there to steal pain killers and other prescriptions with his wife.
“Current state law contains a provision to prosecute physicians who illegally and knowingly prescribe drugs,” said Hannon. “This statute was used to prosecute one of the doctors who had issued painkillers to the Laffers prior to the Medford pharmacy shooting. My legislation goes after those who steal or use blank prescription forms to get prescription drugs illegally.”
Senate bill 2941 will further curtail the availability of illegal prescription drugs by focusing on other potential suppliers. It makes it a crime for a practitioner of pharmacist to unlawfully dispense controlled substances, seeking to address the small group who operate “pill mills” or fill prescriptions for controlled substances such as pain medications, other than in good faith in the course of their practice.
“We need to give law enforcement all the tools to arrest and prosecute those who contribute to drug addiction and overdose deaths,” said Hannon. “These two bills are common-sense measures which will reduce the number of illegally prescribed drugs, and hold those who do so accountable for their actions.”