ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of New York inmates is suing the state prison system, saying its efforts to crack down on prescription drug abuse have gone too far.

Eighteen prisoners said in a suit filed Monday that they are living with chronic pain because it has become too hard to get approval for some medications.

The suit blames a policy adopted in 2017 that requires an extra layer of approval by senior prison system medical staff before inmates can get prescriptions filled for commonly abused drugs.

The lawsuit says those approvals are rarely given, leading to hundreds of prisoners being cut off from drugs used for legitimate medical conditions.

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says the agency is "committed to battling the opioid epidemic and stemming the tide of addiction."