Central hub to monitor 'doctor shopping'

October 1, 2011

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has developed a platform for sharing prescription monitoring programs

NATIONAL REPORTS-With an unrestricted grant from Purdue Pharma, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has developed PMP InterConnect, a platform for sharing prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) among states. It is expected to reduce prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping." With the new software, practitioners and law enforcement officials can query multistate PMPs through a central hub.

"Without the NABP InterConnect, a pharmacist or physician would have to identify every state in which a patient had seen another physician or used another pharmacy and make separate queries to each of those states. Such a system is cumbersome and ineffective," says Carmen Catizone, executive director of NABP.

NABP has invested considerable time and resources to develop the technology system, at the request of member boards of pharmacy and state PMP administrators. PMPs in Ohio and Indiana have already begun deploying the platform to select groups of users, who are now able to exchange prescription data between the two participating states.

As of May 2011, 35 states were operating PMPs with the capacity to receive and distribute prescription information about controlled substances to authorized users, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Thirteen states (Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin), as well as one U.S. territory (Guam), and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation to establish their PMPs, but the programs are not fully operational.