Bi-State Agreement Provides Another Tool to Save Lives in Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction
Trenton, NJ -Taking another important step in preventing drug abuse and saving lives, Governor Christie today announced the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) has expanded its interstate data-sharing capabilities to connect with the State of Delaware's Prescription Monitoring Program. In addition, New Jersey is in the process of building a similar partnership with the State of New York.
"Our connection with Delaware is an important step in expanding and strengthening the NJPMP to become not just a statewide resource, but a regional resource in the fight against drug abuse and addiction," said Governor Christie. "The ability to share prescription data with Delaware and Connecticut, and before long with New York and other states in our region, is empowering prescribers and pharmacists to identify doctor-shopping and other suspicious behaviors in order to save lives. It's critical that doctors and pharmacists step up their voluntary participation in this program to make it as robust and effective a tool as possible to prevent prescription drug abuse."
Direct data-sharing between the NJPMP and Delaware's PMP began in June 2014, and follows the NJPMP's May 2014 connection with the State of Connecticut's PMP. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, which maintains the NJPMP, is developing partnerships with the State of New York and other states, with the ultimate goal of creating a regional Prescription Monitoring Program network. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is facilitating these interstate connections through its PMP Interconnect (PMPi) data-sharing hub.
The data from the first three months of the NJPMP's connection with Delaware, and the first four months of its link with Connecticut, show that prescribers in all three states are successfully making use of the ability to view cross-border prescription data. Between May 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014 - the first four months of data-sharing between New Jersey and Connecticut - the interstate hub enabled 7,730 prescriber data requests between the two states.
The connection with Delaware has been even more active. Between June 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014 - the first three months of this partnership - the interstate hub enabled 8,814 prescriber data requests between New Jersey and Delaware.
The NJPMP collects detailed information on every prescription filled in New Jersey for controlled dangerous substances (CDS) or human growth hormone, more than 39 million prescriptions since data collection began in September 2011. Each record contains the names of the patient, doctor, and pharmacy; purchase date; type, dosage, and amount of medication; and method of payment.
The NJPMP is available to all licensed healthcare practitioners who are authorized by the State of New Jersey to prescribe or dispense CDS medications. To date, approximately 41 percent of New Jersey's 62,992 eligible prescribers and pharmacists are registered for NJPMP access. They can search individual patients' prescribing patterns and learn, for example, whether a patient has been "doctor shopping" - deceptively visiting multiple physicians to obtain more narcotics than any one doctor would prescribe - or other patterns consistent with addiction or abuse. Under the new partnerships between the Division of Consumer Affairs and the states of Delaware and Connecticut, licensed healthcare practitioners in New Jersey are able to access data from the other states' prescription monitoring programs, and vice-versa.
The NJPMP also is a valuable tool for law enforcement and regulatory investigations regarding the unlawful diversion of prescription narcotics.
For more information on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs' initiative to halt the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, view the Division's NJPMP website, and the Project Medicine Drop website.
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