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New York’s Medical Cannabis Law - Sept. 18, 2015

The Compassionate Care Acti, signed into law on July 5, 2014, will enable patients with a “serious condition” to receive medical cannabis if the qualified certifying physician believes the patient will receive “therapeutic or palliative benefit”. Unlike other states, New York will only permit refined dosage forms, specifically eliminating the crude delivery method of smoking. The Department of Health (“DoH”) published regulations further clarifying specific details necessary for safe, secure, and responsible implementation of this new therapy. It is important to realize that virtually all of New York’s practicing pharmacists will be involved in the care of patients receiving medical cannabis.

Federal Government Places Tramadol into Schedule IV - July 3, 2014

The Drug Enforcement Administration has published a Final Rule in the July 2, 2014 Federal Register, concerning the status of tramadol in all forms as a schedule IV controlled substance effective August 18, 2014.  Upon the effective date of this final rule, any person who handles tramadol is subject to the CSA’s schedule IV regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, importing, exporting, engagement in research, and conduct of instructional activities, of schedule IV controlled substances. See full article

Declaration Relieves Requirement that Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Wear Masks- June 5, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York State Acting Commissioner of Health Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D., today declared influenza is no longer prevalent in New York State. This declaration means that New York State healthcare workers who are not vaccinated against influenza are no longer required by State regulation to wear masks in areas where patients are typically present. See the full article

FDA approves first generic versions of celecoxib - May 30, 2014

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries received approval to market celecoxib capsules in 50 milligram, 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg strengths, and has 180-day exclusivity on the 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg strength products. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. received approval to market 50 mg celecoxib capsules. See the full article

Medical marijuana bill clears NYS Senate Health Committee - May 20, 2014

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), was reported out of committee by a 9-8 vote.

It now goes to the Senate Finance Committee. If it passes there, it could be brought to the floor for a full vote of the Senate before the legislative session ends next month.

The legislation would authorize the use of medical pot to treat specific "serious, debilitating, life-threatening" chronic llnesses. Savino recently amended the bill to allow its use for rheumatoid arthritis. But at the urging of the state's ophthalmologists, it would not cover glaucoma. See the full article

DEA Publishes Proposal to Reschedule Hydrocodone - February 27, 2014

Today the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to move hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to Schedule II, as recommended by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as supported by the DEA’s own evaluation of relevant data.  See the full article

DEA Warning – Buying drugs online may be illegal and dangerous

Federal law prohibits buying controlled substances such as narcotic pain relievers, sedatives , stimulants (and anabolic steroids without a valid prescription from your doctor. This means there must be a real doctor-patient relationship, which by most state laws requires a physical examination. Prescriptions written by "cyber doctors" relying on online questionnaires are not legitimate under the law.

Buying controlled substances online without a valid prescription may be punishable by imprisonment under Federal law. See the full article

Plan B Approved for All Women Without a Prescription - June 30, 2013

Media Inquiries: Erica Jefferson, 301-796-4988,

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it has approved the use of Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel) as a nonprescription product for all women of child-bearing potential. This action complies with the April 5, 2013 order of the United States District Court in New York to make levonorgestrel-containing emergency contraceptives available as an over-the-counter (OTC) product without age or point-of-sale restrictions.  See the full article

NYS Dextomethorphan Age Restricted to 18 - September 27, 2013

Legislation seeks to limit the abuse and misuse of Dextromethorphan (“DXM”) by minors

Albany, NY (September 27, 2013)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to prohibit pharmacies and stores from selling Dextromethorphan (DXM) – a substance found in over-the-counter cold medications that can cause serious health risks if abused – to any person under the age of 18 unless they have a prescription.  See full article