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Gunther proposes opioid legislation

August 13, 2014

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther announced on August 8 that she would introduce legislation to help stem the tide of opiate addiction in New York State. The legislation will require the New York State Department of Health to notify prescribers annually of the number of prescriptions for opiates they have written and their ranking within the county they practice.

“My hope is that an awareness of their prescribing habits will help doctors think twice before unnecessarily prescribing an opiate,” said Gunther at the Sullivan County Health Summit.
The legislation is modeled after an initiative by the State of Tennessee Health Department. In 2013, the top 50 painkiller prescribers in that state were sent notification about their prescribing habits. Subsequently, the number of prescriptions written by that group decreased by 10%.

“There is no panacea for drug addiction, but a series of small and meaningful steps, like this one, will help rid our communities of the scourge of opiate abuse,” Gunther said.