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Drug-reporting system gets Legislature's OK

ALBANY -- The State Legislature on Monday gave final passage to a new prescription drug-reporting system intended to control the rising epidemic of addiction to painkillers and other narcotics.

The legislation, which passed unanimously in the Senate and Assembly, will require the state to create a "real-time" database for doctors and pharmacists to check to ensure patients are not hoarding or being overprescribed certain drugs.

The measure was pushed by a bipartisan coalition of Western New York lawmakers following reports, including a Buffalo News series last year, on the growing problem of addiction to painkillers and other prescriptions. Addicts, and dealers, have been able to take advantage of a system that does not prevent doctor shopping.

"I'm so proud to be a New Yorker today," said Avi Israel, a North Buffalo resident who was among the grass-roots lobbyists pushing for the bill. Israel's son, who was addicted to painkillers and other prescription drugs, killed himself last year.

-- News Albany Bureau


Health benefit found for older dads' children

NEW YORK (AP) -- Finally, some good news for older dads. A new study hints that their children and even their grandchildren may get a health benefit because of their older age.

It's based on research into telomeres -- tips on the ends of chromosomes.

As you age, telomeres shorten. But previous studies have shown that the older a man is when he becomes a father, the longer his children's telomeres. The new research confirms that and finds it's extended to the grandchildren.

That's a cheerier result for older dads than some other studies in recent years that indicate their kids are at heightened risk for things like autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The new work didn't look at health outcomes. That's a future step, said researcher Dan T.A. Eisenberg of Northwestern University.

The Northwestern researchers said their study shouldn't be taken as a recommendation that men reproduce at older ages, because there's a risk of mutations.