NHMS Urges More Robust Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

                                                                    Contact:  James Potter
(603) 224-1909

Concord, NH – Feb. 25, 2016 – The New Hampshire Medical Society (NHMS) joined with other health groups in the Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines (APAM) by signing onto a letter urging congressional leaders to pass the reauthorization of the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER – H.R. 1725/S. 480), the federal program providing support for state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). The Medical Society applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of H.R. 1725.

NHMS leaders also met this week with U.S. Senators Jean Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, encouraging the Senate to take up this important legislation. In addition, the Medical Society discussed with Representatives Frank Guinta and Ann Kuster, expanding heroin/opioid abuse treatment options, and delinking hospital and Veteran Administration payments tied to pain satisfaction surveys which have promoted overprescribing of opioids and thereby contribute to  opioid misuse epidemic.

The joint letter asserts that robust and effective PDMP programs at a minimum must be adequately maintained and funded, available at the point-of-care, with up-to-date information and integrated into the prescriber and dispenser workflow.

Elements for an effective in New Hampshire’s PDMP need to include:

  • Interoperability between neighboring state databases

  • Support of public health solutions over a law enforcement function

  • Allow more seamlessand sufficient scalability for real-time access for prescribing health providers

  • Clearly allow prescribers to delegate PDMP responsibilities to healthcare team members

  • Permit batched daily inquiries to speed processing for scheduled appointments

  • Protection of patient confidentiality

“We urge the legislature to approve the PDMP funding recommended by the Joint Legislative Task Force,” said NHMS President John Butterly, MD.  The Medical Society believes that it is equally important that there be in place rigorous pre-testing by and implementation strategies for prescribers and facilities with an upgraded PDMP so that it can be most effectively employed across all health care settings.

Dr. Butterly added, “When these elements are achieved, New Hampshire’s PDMP can offer prescribers a major step toward ensuring that patients have access to the care they need, and that these medicines are not inappropriately prescribed, dispensed or diverted.”

The New Hampshire Medical Society (NHMS) is a non-profit organization representing physicians, medical residents, and medical students across the state of New Hampshire. Founded in 1791, NHMS is dedicated and committed to advocating for patients, physicians, and the medical profession, as well as health-related rights, responsibilities and issues for the betterment of public health in the Granite State.

The Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines (APAM) is a multi-stakeholder coalition composed of representatives of each industry involved in the manufacture, prescribing and dispensing of pharmaceuticals and is focused on building consensus and promoting solutions to our nation’s opioid abuse epidemic.