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Schumer Invites WNY Prescription Drug Advocate to Testify at Senate Hearing -- Brings Buffalo Voice to National Prescription Drug Epidemic Conversation

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that he has secured an invitation for Buffalo advocate Avi Israel to testify at the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics hearing on Wednesday, July 18th. Israel is one of seven national experts and advocates who will offer potential policy action to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Also testifying will be Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, Joseph Rannazzisi, Deputy Assistant Administrator with the DEA, Rep. Mary Bono Mack co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, John Eadie, Director of the Prescription Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University and other prescription drug abuse advocates.

Senator Schumer, a member of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics, will attend the hearing and press for more information on steps that can be taken to curb the growing national epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

"I am proud we secured for Avi Israel this important opportunity to bring his voice and his story to the national conversation on prescription drugs," said Schumer. "Through his tireless advocacy Avi Israel has raised tremendous awareness about the issues of prescription drug abuse and has worked toward solutions that can curb this epidemic.

"Similarly, I am working with my colleagues in the Senate on a number of proposals that can help states crack down on doctor shopping and pill mills, help law enforcement prevent pharmaceutical theft, and ensure doctors and patients have access to the information they need.

"As one of only seven national experts and advocates at this Senate Caucus on International Narcotics, Avi's words will have a powerful impact and I look forward to his attendance."

"I want to thank Senator Schumer for this opportunity," said Avi Isreal. "Through his efforts I will be able to bring my son's story and those of other young people who have lost their life to this epidemic to members of the Senate's Drug Caucus. I am looking forward to joining Senator Schumer in Washington, DC on Wednesday for this important hearing and I am eager to discuss the many different opportunities the federal government has to help stop this growing epidemic."

Senator Schumer is a steadfast supporter of efforts to curb prescription drug abuse. Recently, Schumer came to Buffalo to push for clearer labeling of addictive prescription opiates to help stop the explosion of babies being born addicted to prescription drugs. He is a sponsor of the SAFE DOSES Act aimed at cracking down on pharmaceutical theft and prescription narcotics addiction across the country. Schumer is also co-sponsoring legislation, with Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), that would require medical professionals to participate in specialized training to prescribe drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin, and other opiate-based narcotics. The plan would first work to prevent addiction to these dangerous drugs by addressing the overprescribing of highly addictive narcotics by local doctors. Lastly, as part of the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2011 Schumer is co-sponsoring with Senator Rockefeller, up to $25 million will be made available to upgrade state monitoring programs to ensure information on doctor shopping can be shared across state lines.


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