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Partnership Further Expands State’s Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP), a database which contains detailed information on prescriptions for Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and human growth hormone, is now actively sharing data with a total of five states, Governor Chris Christie announced today.   Rhode Island, Virginia and Minnesota are the three states that  recently established interconnectivity between the NJPMP and their respective prescription monitoring programs, joining Delaware and Connecticut.

“New Jersey welcomes Rhode Island, Virginia and Minnesota to our growing network of states united in the fight against prescription drug abuse and addiction,” said Governor Christie. “Prescribers and pharmacists in these states are now our allies in identifying and flagging suspicious behaviors indicative of doctor shopping and other prescription drug misuse. Every new state that joins the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program interconnect  fortifies our efforts to combat this national epidemic and save lives.”

These  new partnerships help permit prescribers and pharmacists to identify potential misuse of prescriptions across multiple states, including prescriptions for opiate-based pain medication.

“No state is an island when it comes to addressing the national issue of prescription drug abuse,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.  “We must work across state lines to establish a coordinated approach to fighting painkiller abuse and prescription drug diversion, and these interstate partnerships are a critical part of this work.”

New Jersey established the NJPMP database in September 2011, and to date, the NJPMP contains 54 million records of prescription drug prescribing and dispensing.   Each record contains the names of the patient, doctor, and pharmacy; purchase date; type, dosage, and amount of medication; and method of payment. About 95% of all licensed physicians presently are registered to use the NJPMP.
“Taking advantage of state lines will longer be an option for those looking to profit from drug abuse and prescription drug diversion,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.  “We plan on building as many information sharing partnerships as we can to extend the New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program’s reach and capabilities in the fight against opiate abuse.”
The NJPMP is available to all licensed heath care practitioners who are authorized by the State of New Jersey to prescribe or dispense CDS medications.  They can search individual patients’ prescribing patterns and learn, for example, whether a patient has engaged in “doctor shopping” – deceptively visiting multiple physicians, to obtain more narcotics than any one doctor would prescribe – or other patterns consistent with addiction or abuse.  The NJPMP also is a valuable tool for law enforcement and regulatory investigations regarding the unlawful diversion of prescription narcotics. 
Direct data-sharing between the New Jersey’s PMP and Delaware’s PMP began in June 2014, and with Connecticut’s PMP, in May 2014.  About 10,000 information requests between New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut are currently being processed each month. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is facilitating these interconnections through its PMP Interconnect (PMPi) data-sharing hub.
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.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.

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