Schumer Calls for Crackdown on Prescription Drugs

Sunday, Jun 26, 2011  |  Updated 12:41 PM EDT
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Schumer Calls for Crackdown on Prescription Drugs

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In the wake of last week's deadly shooting at a Long Island pharmacy, Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government must work harder to fight prescription drug abuse.

Schumer said Sunday that the abuse of prescription narcotics is reaching levels not seen since the crack epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The New York Democrat is pushing legislation to address overprescribing of the drugs. He is co-sponsoring legislation introduced in by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., that would require doctors to participate in specialized training to prescribe Oxycontin, Vicodin and other opiate-based narcotics. The training would help doctors better identify patients vulnerable to addiction.

Last Sunday a robber walked into a neighborhood drugstore in Medford, N.Y. and shot four people to death before leaving with a backpack full of pills.

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