April 26, 2016

Governor Cuomo Announces Partnership with New Jersey to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Partnership with New...

States to share data from respective Prescription Monitoring Programs in joint effort to prevent stockpiling, resale, and abuse of dangerous controlled substances

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State has begun sharing Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data with New Jersey to prevent the stockpiling and resale of dangerous controlled substances and to help fight the abuse of prescription drugs.

New York and New Jersey are using the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy PMP InterConnect hub, which allows them to securely share their prescription data with authorized requestors from other states in the hub. The Prescription Monitoring Program provides practitioners and pharmacists with a patient’s recent controlled substance prescription information. By providing more complete records of patients’ multi-state prescription histories, states work together to prevent those who would evade state laws from obtaining and stockpiling or reselling dangerous controlled substances for nonmedical use.

New York began data sharing with New Jersey on April 14, 2016. Through just April 22, over 16,000 controlled substance records have been requested, with over 12,000 of those requests coming from New York to New Jersey.

“Sharing controlled substance data with neighboring states allows us to more effectively combat prescription drug abuse and fraud,” said Governor Cuomo. “New York has seen an important decrease in the number of controlled substance prescriptions issued since we launched our aggressive I-STOP program in 2012, and I am confident that sharing data across state lines will further that success throughout the region. Prescription drug abuse impacts families nationwide, and I am proud of the crucial step we are taking to stem this epidemic.”

Governor Cuomo initiated New York’s PMP – known as the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP) – in 2012, and the program has revolutionized the way controlled substances are prescribed, distributed and tracked in New York State.

New York will further share PMP data with other participating neighboring states, and is extending its efforts to all of the other states participating in the InterConnect hub. Additional efforts are underway to share PMP data with authorized requestors from those states not participating in InterConnect.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker said, “Participating in InterConnect not only facilitates the transmission of PMP controlled substance data across state lines to authorized requestors, it also enhances New York’s ability to track and prevent over-prescribing of potentially dangerous drugs and strengthens Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive effort to combat prescription drug abuse.”

State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Arlene González-Sánchez said, “I applaud the Governor's initiative to share prescription information across State lines. Prescription opioid misuse is leading to chronic addiction impacting our families and communities. By sharing prescription information across state lines we can better monitor dispensing and minimize fraudulent prescribing practices and misuse of these prescriptions.”

Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, said, “Fighting the opioid epidemic is going to require the kind of collaboration announced today by Governor Cuomo. By sharing prescription data, we will be better able to quickly spot those patients who are trying to illegally obtain controlled substances. This is a major step forward in our efforts to stem the dangerous epidemic of opioid abuse.”

Senator Andrew Lanza said, “Knowing is half the battle. Through the Prescription Monitoring Program and I-STOP, New York state has compiled a valuable database of controlled substance use to better serve patients and combat abuse. By making this information available between states, New York adds another layer of deterrence to those who would overprescribe, or would-be drug seekers crossing state lines. Tracking prescriptions regionally not only makes sense, it saves lives.”

Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, said “The prescription drug monitoring program we enacted in 2012 has been an important tool for reducing prescription drug abuse in New York. Connecting it to New Jersey’s system – and eventually to other state systems – will make it even more effective.”

Assemblyman Michael Cusick said, “The opioid epidemic is not simply a problem confined to the borders of any single state. Opioid misuse and abuse has become a regional issue, one that demands creative solutions with our partners in neighboring states. The sharing of data with New Jersey is a start and will enable doctors and pharmacists in New York to more closely monitor a patient’s efforts to illegally obtain these dangerous controlled substances.”

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