PA Will Share Drug Monitoring Database With Other States

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Pennsylvania health officials agreed last month to share data from their drug monitoring program with officials from 10 states and Washington D.C.

The Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program allows doctors to see if patients have filled controlled substance prescriptions in: Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

The Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database allows prescribers and dispensers of controlled substances to monitor who is obtaining opioids, who prescriptions are being obtained from, and how often they are prescribed. The tool will support clinicians in identifying patients who may be struggling from the disease of addiction and help connect them with treatment services.The system, which was introduced last summer, will allow doctors to view patients’ medication histories and be better informed before issuing new prescriptions for controlled substances. Health care professionals will now be able to check if their patient recently had a prescription filled from other providers. The system will help physicians recognize potentially inappropriate medication use.

Pennsylvania Department of Health officials said the database use between states is secure and only accessible to health care professions and other authorized by law.

“This interstate sharing of patient data helps providers get a more complete picture of their patients’ controlled substance prescription histories, regardless of which state they filled their prescription in,” Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy said.

“We are pleased to be working with other states to stop prescription drug abuse because the issue of addiction doesn’t stop at Pennsylvania’s border,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Sharing this information will help curb doctor shopping and save lives. We will soon connect with even more states to ensure the greatest level of protection for every Pennsylvanian.”

Information in the database is protected under the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and other state laws, officials said.

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