The prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) of North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia have agreed to participate in the PMP Interconnect system to fight drug diversion and abuse, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).


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States sign on to NABP Rx monitoring system

March 25th, 2011

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. – The prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) of North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia have agreed to participate in the PMP Interconnect system to fight drug diversion and abuse, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

NABP said this week that PMP Interconnect, currently in development, will allow PMPs across the United States to be linked, providing a more effective means of thwarting drug diversion and drug abuse nationwide.

The board unveiled plans for the interconnect hub last November, saying it came in response to a need by PMP administrators for a way to facilitate the sharing and exchanging of data among PMP systems.

Due to launch in July, the PMP Interconnect is a secure communications exchange platform that will enable the transmission of PMP data across state lines to authorized requestors while ensuring that each state's data access rules are enforced. The interconnect won't store any data or inhibit the legitimate prescribing or dispensing of prescription drugs, NABP noted.

PMPs collect prescription data for controlled substances so that doctors and pharmacists can get a full picture of patients' controlled substance use. Access to such information aids in early detection of prescription abuse and "doctor shopping," allowing appropriate intervention and prevention of substance abuse and possible diversion of controlled substances. Current systems have lacked interoperability and data sharing among states, making harder to detect abuse and diversion because, for instance, doctor shoppers could obtain prescriptions from doctors and pharmacies in multiple states.

"NABP thanks the North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia PMPs for being on the forefront of PMP Interconnect with their signing of memorandums of understanding," stated NABP president William Winsley. "Participation of PMPs nationwide is a key component of successfully fighting the diversion and abuse of controlled substances. Creating a web of connected PMPs will enhance the benefits of these programs by providing the means for physicians and pharmacists to more easily identify patients with prescription drug problems, especially if that patient is crossing state lines to obtain those drugs."

NABP said law enforcement and regulatory agencies, where authorized by state law, will be able to obtain information that will help them quickly identify attempts to illegally divert controlled substances across state lines.

A steering committee of PMP administrators participating in the PMP Interconnect program will oversee the hub, which can be used by any PMP regardless of where it is housed within the state, according to NABP.

NABP added that it has made a commitment to finance the development and deployment of the PMP Interconnect and to fund the annual operating costs of the system for at least the first five years of operation. The NABP Foundation has received a $1 million grant from Purdue Pharma to support the deployment of the PMP Interconnect and is soliciting unrestricted grants from other public and private entities.

In other news, NABP on Friday relaunched its AWARxE web site to provide consumers seeking information on prescription drug abuse and medication safety.

As the main communication vehicle of the AWARxE consumer protection program, AWARErx.org aims to help consumers become aware of what they can do to protect their families, friends and communities.

Updated features on the site include medication safety tips pages that can be printed and used as guidelines for safely obtaining, administering, and monitoring over-the-counter and prescription drugs; current information on the April 30, 2011, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drug take-back event and how to properly dispose of unused, unwanted prescription medications; facts from the latest reports and links to resources about prescription drug misuse and abuse, counterfeit medications and buying medicine online; and information on counterfeit drugs and safely buying medicine onlin.

In addition, an "Ask Your Pharmacist" page helps patients understand that pharmacists can assist with a variety of medication related issues, including answering questions about their medications, performing medication reviews, and collaborating with physicians to optimize drug therapy.

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