States Continue to Take a Stand Against the Prescription Opioid Epidemic

by Tammy Odierna
Regulatory Data Analyst

Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy hosted a bill signing ceremony to celebrate passage of PDMP legislation: CT HB 6856. Governor Malloy championed the bill as “common sense legislation” that “will help save lives and address a pressing public health need.”

Governor Malloy said, “We have to treat addiction like a public health issue not a crime…Connecticut is taking a stand against a nationwide prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic to become a leader in combating opioid and heroin abuse, preventing drug addiction and overdoses.”

Beginning October 10, 2015, prescribers in Connecticut will be required to check the PDMP before prescribing a controlled substance which is in excess of a 72 hour supply. In the case of continuous or prolonged treatment of a controlled substance, consultation with the database must occur at least every 90 days. This is significant in that it will aide practitioners in identifying potential abuse that leads to overprescribing. Connecticut HB 6856 also allows trained and certified pharmacists to prescribe an opioid antagonist.

With passage of this Connecticut legislation, there are now 23 states that require or will soon require prescribers to check the PDMP, at least in certain circumstances. Connecticut was one of several states that have enacted PDMP legislation during the 2015 legislative session.

On July 18, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed NJ S 1998. “By signing S-1998, we’re not only making the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program even stronger, we’re demonstrating that by working together, we can all be part of the solution – a solution that fights the stigma of addiction, saves lives and helps rebuild families,” Governor Christie said.

The New Jersey legislation creates automatic enrollment for practitioners to the PDMP at the same time of issuance or renewal of their Controlled Drug Substance (CDS) registration. Streamlining the registration process should create easier access, and, in turn, increase usage of the database. The bill also expands the review process of the PDMP by the Division of Consumer Affairs, allowing greater monitoring needed to indicate whether a person is obtaining a prescription in a manner that may indicate misuse or abuse.

Read a full recap of 2015 PDMP legislative activity published in the most recent myMatrixx Monitor. You may also be interested in myMatrixx’s “Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) Overview” which summarizes the following PDMP features:

1) drug schedules monitored,

2) data source (i.e. data collected from pharmacies and/or dispensing practitioners),

3) required data collection frequency, and

4) authorized requesters of the PDMP data