Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News


Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the federal government and drug manufacturer Merck to address what he called a “critical shortage” of a bladder cancer drug.

The New York Democrat spoke Monday at the University of Rochester Medical Center alongside health care providers and a bladder cancer patient, Bill Burchell.

Burchell, who lives in Webster, said he found out he had bladder cancer eight months ago. He got the news from doctors at URMC, who told him the type of cancer he had was aggressive.


NEW YORK (AP) The scribbled, cryptic doctor's prescription note is headed toward eradication in New York, where the nation's toughest paperless-prescribing requirement takes effect March 27.

Instead of handing patients slips of paper, physicians soon must electronically send orders directly to pharmacies for everything from antibiotics to cholesterol pills to painkillers, with some exceptions. Otherwise, prescribers face the possibility of fines, license loss or even jail.

Outrage over the cost of a pill. You might have seen the story this week: a former hedge fund manager buys the rights to a pill that can save lives, then raises the price 5000% overnight. Daraprim has been around for 62 years, treating malaria and toxoplasmosis; AIDS patients in particular can benefit from the drug. When a company called Turing acquired the drug, the price jumped from $13.50 per pill to $750. Turing's CEO said that this is the cost of doing research, which could lead to better drugs. Critics have called this the worst kind of price gouging. Our panel discusses it:

  • Dr. William Valenti, Trillium Health vice president and lead physician
  • Dr. Jonathan Hager, primary care physician
  • Jane Dodds, Practice Administrator with Women Gynecology & Childbirth Associates, and a member of the Board of the New York State Medical Group Management Association

Connections: Healthy Friday - Take As Directed Campaign

Aug 15, 2014

A new public awareness campaign tries to get people to “Take As Directed.” That means take their medications the way they were prescribed. 50 percent of people don’t do that and the health care system says problems with medication adherence cost health and money. We talk with Dr. Mona Chitre, VP and Chief Pharmacy Officer at Excellus about this issue.

Then, the recent death of Robin Williams gave one Rochester psychiatrist pause: Dr. Adrian Leibovici is chief of psychiatry at Rochester General Health System. He talks through the issues of depression and bipolar, and answers questions about the societal issues surrounding these clinical conditions.

Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday

Sep 27, 2012

According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration --70 percent of teenagers who have abused prescription drugs took them from friends or family.
To help keep unused prescription meds away from teens, people can dispose of unwanted meds at a number of locations this Saturday from 10am until 2pm.
People are discouraged from flushing medicine down the toilet, because it could contaminate the environment and drinking water supply.
This event is in line with National Prescription Take Back day.

Prescription Drug Bill Passes

Jun 6, 2012

A bill to track prescription drug disbursement in the state has been approved by the Senate.

A local drug abuse prevention organization believes this will give the state a major boost in its fight against drug abuse.

New York is one of the first states in the country to create a law with a series of provisions to overhaul the way prescription drugs are distributed and tracked. It's called I-STOP and will require all medical providers to enter prescriptions into a real time monitoring registry.

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The New York State Medical Society is speaking out against a proposed statewide database to track the dispensing of prescription drugs.

It's called the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act or "I-Stop" bill and it's designed to create an online, real-time database to help doctors avoid giving out controlled drugs to people who get prescriptions from multiple sources.