For Immediate Release
September 5, 2013
Karin Eckel, Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Executive Secretary of the New Hampshire Board of Pharmacy James Queenan announce that New Hampshire has been awarded a $400,000 grant to support the implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The grant was awarded to the NH Department of Justice by the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
A PDMP is an electronic database that collects data on controlled drugs that are prescribed and dispensed in the state. It is a tool that is used to identify and deter prescription drug abuse and diversion by facilitating the confidential sharing of information among prescribers and pharmacies relating to the prescribing and dispensing of specified controlled drugs.
In 2012, New Hampshire became the 49th state to enact a PDMP. The program will be overseen by the NH Board of Pharmacy. The PDMP will enable a physician to review a patient’s history of filling prescriptions for controlled drugs in New Hampshire, for indicators of drug dependence, drug misuse, drug diversion or doctor shopping.
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest rising epidemic in the United States. In 2012, accidental overdose deaths from prescription drugs exceeded traffic fatalities in New Hampshire. The drugs are often obtained through "doctor shopping"—visiting multiple doctors or clinics to obtain prescriptions for controlled drugs, either for personal use or sale to others for financial gain. The PDMP will be a valuable tool to identify and prevent that practice and to ensure that well-intentioned providers do not inadvertently overprescribe these drugs.
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