MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s platform to link state prescription monitoring programs (PMPs), the NABP PMP InterConnect, is now fully operational, providing a state-to-state tool for reducing prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping."
NABP said Friday that PMPs in Ohio and Indiana have begun deploying PMP InterConnect to select groups of users, who can securely exchange prescription data between the two participating states.
The board announced in June that it had completed the prescription monitoring hub and was working with state PMP administrators to connect with it. According to NABP, PMP InterConnect is the first and only successful system that facilitates the sharing of data between state PMPs, a key element for early detection, intervention and prevention of substance abuse and diversion of controlled substances.
The PMP InterConnect system, developed by NABP and technology provider Appriss Inc., enables users to easily request prescription data from other states, providing interoperability that previously had been missing from PMPs and hampered their efficacy, NABP noted.
"The problem of prescription drug abuse and diversion has become very serious in the last few years and is an acute threat to the health and safety of the American public," NABP president Malcolm Broussard said in a statement. "While many states have adopted and operated PMPs in an attempt to counter this problem, the inability to share information about patients and prescribers between programs represented a serious obstacle to their effectiveness. NABP, in its role of assisting states in protecting the public health, has invested considerable time and resources to develop and deploy PMP InterConnect, a working solution that addresses this serious public health issue."
NABP added that access to program information across state lines will greatly enhance the effectiveness of PMPs, and therefore it has funded the development of the system and is making it available at no cost to any PMP that wants to participate. The board said it also will cover all PMP InterConnect operation costs and state program participation costs for a minimum of five years to spur rapid adoption of this capability nationwide.
In addition to Ohio and Indiana, Virginia soon plans to go live with PMP InterConnect and, based on current implementation time frames, users of PMPs in Connecticut, Kansas, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia are expected to be able to access prescription data across state lines this fall, according to NABP.
Since March, 15 states have agreed to participate in the program, and discussions are ongoing with a number of other states, NABP said, adding that it expects about 30 states to be participating in PMP InterConnect by 2012.
A steering committee of representatives from participating programs will meet periodically to make policy and operating decisions, ensuring that PMP InterConnect continues to meet the needs of the state PMPs as well as its overall goal of protecting public health, the board said.