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NY Expands Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to 25 States

New York State is combating the opioid epidemic by expanding its prescription drug monitoring program to more locations.

Prescription drug monitoring program

Source: Thinkstock

By Jennifer Bresnick

- New York State’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) can now exchange critical patient data with 25 other states and Washington, DC, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced.

The platform aids prescribers, pharmacists, and law enforcement agencies when tracking and monitoring prescription substances, including opioids.  By expanding the reach of the database to cover approximately 150 million patients across half the nation, New York hopes to reduce the ongoing impact of the devastating opioid addiction crisis.

"Tragically, opioid addiction continues to take the lives of New Yorkers every single day, but this administration will not rest until the opioid epidemic is a thing of the past," Governor Cuomo said.

New York is also reducing barriers to life-saving measures such as naloxone administration and hospital-based detox services. 

Investigators with the New York State Department of Health's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement will be trained to administer naloxone and will be able to carry the treatment as they complete their routine work.

In addition, hospitals will no longer be required to seek a separate certification from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services before being allowed to provide detox to patients.

"By removing unnecessary roadblocks to proper care and providing more resources and training with these additional measures, New York will continue to lead the nation in implementing innovative and effective solutions to save lives, prevent overdoses, and provide the treatment those suffering from addition so desperately need,” said Cuomo.

Better visibility into prescribing patterns and potential drug-seeking behavior is critical in a densely populated region like New York, which borders several other states. 

"I have heard firsthand from countless families across the State who have felt the impact of addiction. This epidemic is claiming too many lives prematurely - the Governor and I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch it continue," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin and Opioid Task Force.

"We're leading the nation in our efforts to provide resources and support for individuals struggling with addiction and their families. With these additional responses, New York is reinforcing our steadfast commitment to combat this crisis and help individuals on the road to recovery."

Providers will be able to request to view data from multiple states when searching the PDMP for individual records, allowing them see if the patient has been given similar prescriptions in Connecticut, New Jersey, and elsewhere.

The enhanced transparency and interoperability may continue to decrease incidences of “doctor shopping,” the state says.  Recent legislation, called I-STOP, that requires providers to search the PDMP before prescribing controlled substances has already drastically reduced the incidence of fraudulent patient behavior, according to the press release.

"New York has made great strides to combat heroin and opioid abuse,” said Senate Health Committee Chair Kemp Hannon.

“I worked with the Governor to implement important legislation creating the I-STOP Program, increasing the availability of life-saving naloxone, as well as expanding access to recovery and treatment. I look forward to continuing this collaboration, as much more is needed to curb this epidemic." 

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