The Arizona Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative has been honored as the best prescription drug abuse initiative in the Western region “in terms of innovation and delivery of concrete results” by the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA). The program received the NCJA’s 2013 Western Region Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for what Arizona Governor Jan Brewer described as a massive undertaking involving many state agencies and organizations, including the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, and aimed “to reduce prescription drug misuse and its associated consequences.”

The initiative includes strategies to reduce illicit acquisition and diversion of medications and to educate health care providers about best practices in prescribing and handling controlled substance prescription medications. As a pilot program, the initiative is currently active in three Arizona counties: Yavapai, Pinal, and Graham/Greenlee. Among other positive results (PDF), those counties have seen significant increases in the number of prescribers, pharmacists, and law enforcement officials who have registered for the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).

Arizona is one of 16 state PMPs sharing data through participation in the NABP PMP InterConnect®, a highly secure communications exchange platform that facilitates the transmission of PMP data across state lines to authorized requestors while ensuring that each state’s data-access rules are enforced. NABP continues to work with other states to facilitate their participation in the NABP InterConnect, and it is anticipated that approximately 30 states will be sharing data or will have executed memorandums of understanding to participate in the program by the end of 2013. Additional information about the NABP InterConnect is available in the Programs section of the NABP Web site.