The New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, released an open letter to serve as an alert to physicians and medical professionals around the state about a legal change concerning the prescription hydrocodone drug, a medication used as a painkiller.


Hydrocodone is now considered a Schedule II controlled substance according to the law in New York State. Hydrocodone used to be a listed as a Schedule III but the state has now placed stricter controls on the medication. This includes no longer being able to have hydrocodone prescriptions automatically refilled.


The move to the different schedule class occurred due to the Attorney General’s mandation per his Internet System for Tracking Overprescribing, also known as I-STOP. This measure was signed into law in late 2012 in an effort to help contain the abuse of prescription medications that are often abused such as hydrocodone.


This particular drug is considered to be very addictive. The Attorney General hopes to help prevent the widespread abuse of the drug by requiring patient/doctor follow ups, stopping auto refills, and overall prevent abusers from accessing the drug while allowing those in medical need of the medication the protection.

I-STOP also involves a database created online that pharmacists and doctors can both track and report the activities of controlled substances in real-time. The databases will be in full use as of August 2013. It will provide a centralized information center to help prevent the over-prescription of narcotics as well as the trafficking of drugs, identifying the abusers of the addictive substances.