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Rep. Grimm and Other Leaders Take a Stand Against Prescription Drug Abuse
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Michael Grimm (R,C–Brooklyn/Staten Island) is joined by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-Brooklyn) in introducing the bipartisan H.R. 1266, the Fraudulent Prescription Prevention (FPP) Act, which will help combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic throughout Staten Island, Brooklyn and the nation. Rep. Grimm’s bill would establish a secure web portal for physicians and pharmacists across the country to properly record prescriptions electronically. This database would update in real-time to prevent “pharmacy shopping” and abuse by stolen prescription pads – a major source for drug abuse. The bill is also supported by Richmond and Kings County District Attorneys Daniel Donovan and Charles Hynes.
“Abuse and addiction are on the rise and studies show there is virtually no community untouched by this problem,” said Rep. Grimm. “Unfortunately, Staten Island and Brooklyn are plagued with a huge prescription drug abuse epidemic, which is why I have become a leader in combating this growing problem. This is a big step forward to curtail a growing epidemic that has already claimed the lives of too many. I am hopeful that the FPP Act will also raise awareness of a serious problem facing the entire nation.”
“I am proud to join Congressman Grimm in leading this effort to reduce the potential for abusing prescription drugs,” said Rep. Towns. “This is a growing problem in our nation and the Borough of Brooklyn, particularly among our youth. This legislation will give the DEA additional tools to help get this problem under control.”
“The biggest challenge law enforcement agencies face in stemming the scourge of illegal street drugs is finding the supplier and cutting that source off,” said Richmond County D.A. Donovan. “But prescription painkillers are almost exclusively supplied by one government sanctioned institution: Pharmacies. By putting the onus on pharmacies to ensure that these highly addictive drugs do not get into the wrong hands, I believe Congressman Grimm’s legislation will help us achieve that goal.”
“Prescription drug abuse, which is rising throughout the country at an alarming rate, poses a serious threat to the health and safety of our communities,” said Kings County D.A. Hynes. “It’s time for physicians, pharmacists, and law enforcement to work together to stem this pernicious tide. The Fraudulent Prescription Prevention Act of 2011, sponsored by Congressman Michael Grimm, will create a secure web portal and nationwide real-time database that will allow phony prescriptions to be accurately identified and tracked. This ‘smart-on-crime’ legislation will make cost-effective use of technology, and will ensure that prescription drug abuse crime is met with a strong, coordinated response. I applaud Rep. Grimm for this innovative effort to reduce drug crime and addiction.”
"On behalf of all the families affected by drug addiction, I applaud Congressman Michael Grimm for his efforts in combating the prescription drug epidemic that is destroying so many young lives,” William Fusco, Executive Director, Dynamic Youth Community Inc.
The national prescription database would update in real-time, allowing physicians and pharmacists to provide accurate information regarding a person’s purchasing of controlled substances, and specifically the pain medications like oxycodone, which is so prevalent among New York City’s youth.
All DEA registered physicians and dispensers will be required to have an account on the DEA web portal, and use this web portal to record and report all prescribing and dispensing activities. The DEA administered web portal would allow them to communicate externally with other participants, including designated parties across state lines, regarding consumers purchasing of highly addictive controlled substances, while ensuring the patient’s privacy.
The bill specifies that the web portal reporting requirements are only subject to schedule II and schedule III controlled substances. It also protects individual privacy by stating that personally identifiable information is only made available the Drug Enforcement Administration for the purpose of tracking abusers who purchase these drugs with a faulty prescription. In addition, this legislation authorizes existing funds to be appropriated from the Diversion Control Fee Account, making the web portal a cost-effective, deficit neutral way to detect and resolve the national drug abuse and addiction epidemic.
Rep. Grimm is a member of the House Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus.