Assemblyman Thiele: Limiting Painkiller Prescriptions Will Aid in Fighting Opioid Epidemic

June 6, 2018

“The opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc in communities across our state, claiming countless lives each and every year. From 2015 to 2016, the number of drug deaths in New York State – fueled primarily by opioids like fentanyl and heroin – increased by nearly 30 percent. Many individuals become addicted to these deadly drugs after being prescribed opioid painkillers following an injury or operation.

“To ensure New Yorkers aren’t left with extra painkillers that could be misused or could fall into the wrong hands, I passed legislation enabling patients to partially fill controlled substance prescriptions (A.10392-A). Under current law, patients who partly fill this type of medication initially are not allowed to fill the remainder of the prescription later on. This measure would allow 30 days to fill the remainder of the prescription. It gives patients the final say when it comes to their treatment and may help stop prescription drug abuse before it happens.

“Today’s legislation builds on our efforts to tackle this epidemic head-on. That includes the recent creation of a $100 million Opioid Stewardship Fund, a partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to expand prevention, treatment and recovery programs for those struggling with substance use disorder.

“I’ll keep doing everything I can to combat opioid addiction and help more New Yorkers struggling with addiction stay on the road to recovery.”