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Malka Berro

Behavioral Health Policy and Practice Intern

Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Holds Discussion on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

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On Monday, September 25th, the Congressional Bipartisan Heroin Task Force held a roundtable discussion on the role of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) in combatting the opioid epidemic. The roundtable — led by task force co-chairs Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) — received insights from two industry professionals on the importance of PDMPs.

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAMS

PDMPs are state-run electronic databases used by providers to track controlled substances (including opioids). They can help providers identify patients at risk for abuse of opioids and other drugs and aim to assist providers in safely prescribing and dispensing medications. Strengthening and simplifying these programs has been encouraged by the White House’s opioid commission, detailed in its interim report from earlier this year.

 

BIPARTISAN HEROIN TASK FORCE

Task Force members were receptive to the comments offered by the panel, and highlighted areas within PDMPs that could be addressed by Congress, including:

  • More efficient and effective utilization of data,
  • Modernization of PDMPs to a cloud-based system, and
  • Promotion of greater information sharing between states.

The task force was led by Representatives Kuster (NH), MacArthur (NJ), Fitzpatrick (NY), and Norcross (NJ), and was joined by Dr. Matthew Salzman, Assistant Professor of Medical Toxicology at Rowan University, and Stephen Mullinex, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs.

Read a comprehensive summary of the roundtable discussion here.