BUFFAlO, NY - We are hearing from a local pharmacist, who's speaking out about serious issues she says she's seeing, in the current drug epidemic.
Jodi Weinert, who has been working as a pharmacist for 28 years, says she sees doctors regularly over prescribing medication to patients. Weinert asked that we not name which pharmacy she works at for confidentiality reasons.
She says some doctors out there are frequently over prescribing pain medication and are failing to check a key state registry.
"It's very discouraging, I guess disheartening would be the word to use," Weinert said, "I think what we see more is inappropriate prescribing."
Last year, the state told doctors they could only prescribe a drug with a seven-day supply for patients with short term problems, like a broken bone.
"I would have to say I'm seeing over prescribing when it comes to acute conditions," Weinert said.
REPORTER: And, how often are you seeing that?
"Easily six or seven times a week," she responded, "I'm seeing more prescriptions coming over, I would say the average is two weeks, the prescriptions were not dispensed, they came over, doctor was called made aware of the situation that they weren't going to be dispensed and that's it."
Weinert says because of confidentiality reasons, she cannot name the doctors who sent the prescriptions.
She says one day, someone came to her with a prescription for hydrocodone, a pain medication that can be addicting. That person Weinert says is a recovering addict, and that a drug to treat their addiction was in their I-Stop profile. Weinert says she called the doctor's office.
"It should've been caught, had they done their due diligence by law which was checking I-Stop," Weinert said.
Weinert has questions about who's actually monitoring the I-Stop system. 2 On Your Side contacted the state Department of Health, which says monitoring is done by the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.
Weinert is also calling for improvements to be made to the law, for example that pharmacists be required to check the registry, right now that's not the case. She says she's shining a light on these problems, not only as a pharmacist, but also as a mother.
"I have an 11 year old and a 9 year old and what they're walking through in the next few years of their lives freightens me to death, I want to be part of the solution, that's why I've chosen to speak out," she said.
Assembly member Crystal Peoples Stokes says she and other lawmakers will contact, the state Health Commissioner requesting an investigation into the use of the I-Stop registry.
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