The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) reported that state participation in its PMP InterConnect program to thwart prescription drug abuse has grown, with 25 prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) now live.

National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, NABP, PMP InterConnect, prescription drug abuse, prescription monitoring programs, PMPs, controlled substance prescriptions, Joseph Adams, interstate data exchange, New Jersey, John Hoffman, Virginia PMP, Ralph Orr

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More states connect to NABP's PMP platform

May 29th, 2014

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. – The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) reported that state participation in its PMP InterConnect program to thwart prescription drug abuse has grown, with 25 prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) now live.

NABP said Wednesday that with half of the states now sharing PMP data via the secure communication platform, authorized PMP users in those states can see a broader history of patients' controlled substance prescriptions, helping health care providers make more informed prescribing and dispensing decisions and identify potential misuse or abuse.

Nevada, Idaho and New Jersey are the latest state PMPs to go live and begin sharing data through NABP InterConnect, according to the association.

"With this partnership, New Jersey's PMP is not just a statewide resource, but a regional resource to fight the epidemic of opiate abuse," New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement. "Our comprehensive strategy includes not just investigation and enforcement, but our efforts to fully engage the health care community in this fight."

Several other states have signed memorandums of understanding to participate in PMP InterConnect and aim to link to the system this year, NABP said.

"It is extremely gratifying to be able to provide a safe and secure solution for interstate data exchange to the state PMPs," stated Joseph Adams, president of NABP. "With 25 states of the 48 United States jurisdictions that have operational PMPs participating in NABP PMP InterConnect, thousands of health care providers now have a more complete view of their patients' prescription drug history to assist them in their prescribing and dispensing decisions."

For example, in the fourth quarter of 2013, the Virginia PMP — one of the three original states to participate in NABP InterConnect — received interstate prescription data on over 1,400 patients. The association said Virginia's data also show that PMP users in other states are benefiting from InterConnect. Virginia reported that since the PMP began using the system. the number of requests to the state has increased, accounting for 11% of all requests in 2013.

According to NABP, Virginia is looking forward to increased interoperability with additional bordering states in 2014 because sharing data with them raises the effectiveness of the state PMP. One benefit of sharing prescription drug data among neighboring states is that it can help providers identify "doctor shopping," when patients visit multiple doctors to obtain controlled substance medications, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles and across state borders.

In addition, NABP said, the Virginia PMP officials aim to leverage InterConnect to provide PMP data for authorized Virginia users via the state's health information exchange. Such integration projects have been implemented successfully in Ohio and Indiana and bring PMP data directly into the provider's workflow, the association noted.

"Expanded use of NABP InterConnect is a major part of our program's strategy to integrate PMP data with various health information technology platforms," stated Ralph Orr, director of the Virginia PMP. "We anticipate that this integration will increase use of the PMP by incorporating the data within existing provider workflow patterns."

Launched in 2011, PMP InterConnect was designed by NABP to facilitate interoperability and interstate data sharing between state PMPs by providing a secure communications exchange platform for participating states. The system does not house any data and ensures that each state's data access rules are enforced.