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New law to fight opioid epidemic signed in Buffalo

Chris Caya WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stopped in Buffalo on Wednesday to sign new legislation to fight the opioid crisis. 

Speaking to a large crowd in Evergreen Commons, a former church at Georgia St. and Prospect Ave., Gov. Cuomo said under the new law, insurance companies no longer have the right to stop a medical decision.  

"If a doctor determines that that person needs treatment, that person is going to get treatment, and that insurance company is going to pay for that treatment, period," Cuomo said 

Avi Israel has been pushing for drug and healthcare policy changes since his son, Michael, died nearly five years ago. After the signing event, Israel said he is happy with the legislation.  

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News
Avi Israel speaks to reporters after new legislation was signed to fight opioid epidemic.

"It's not going to help my son and some other people who have lost kids. But it's going to make sure that plenty of lives will be saved."   

The law also limits opioid prescriptions for acute pain to seven days. It allows patients to be held for 72 hours after an overdose and it adds nearly 2,500 treatment beds statewide.