The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) is pleased to announce its one-year anniversary of sharing prescription monitoring program (PMP) data through its NABP PMP InterConnectSM program. The NABP InterConnect allows authorized users in participating states to request patients’ prescription data and receive the information from other participating states’ PMPs. Sharing prescription drug data among states is an effective tool for reducing prescription drug abuse and doctor shopping and is a key element for early detection, intervention, and prevention of substance abuse by patients as well as diversion of controlled substances by health care providers.
During the first year of operation, nine PMPs joined NABP InterConnect and are now fully connected to allow data sharing. These include PMPs in Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia. In addition, three other states’ PMPs are in the final stages of implementation and testing and are expected to go live soon. Several other states have indicated to NABP that they intend to participate in NABP InterConnect in the future. When these states become fully operational, 22 states will be sharing data via the NABP InterConnect.
“As an organization mission-driven to protect the public health, NABP was approached by several PMP administrators who asked NABP to develop and deploy a data sharing system in a rapid and cost-effective manner, and NABP has done so,” says NABP President Michael A. Burleson, RPh. “NABP InterConnect provides a technological solution to safely and securely share PMP data with users in other states in order to better combat the problems of prescription drug abuse and diversion, which have grown rapidly in recent years and constitutes a serious threat to the public health.”
NABP InterConnect was taken from concept to reality within nine months, and many states are committed to joining the system, thereby increasing and enhancing the information that practitioners and pharmacists use to make appropriate and fully informed prescribing and dispensing decisions. Currently 41 states have operational PMPs and eight others have programs in development; however, until NABP InterConnect there was no system for data sharing among the programs. This deficit created a significant challenge in the efforts of PMP users who were attempting to identify individuals illicitly obtaining controlled substance prescriptions in multiple states. Now, users from PMPs that utilize NABP InterConnect can receive patient data in a single report in less than eight seconds from other participating PMPs. To date, more than 375,000 successful interstate data requests have been processed through NABP InterConnect, and the usage of NABP InterConnect continues to accelerate as more states join.
Recognizing that each PMP has unique access and usage requirements, NABP InterConnect was designed to accommodate these requirements in a simple and straightforward way. Participating PMP administrators can easily customize how NABP InterConnect works when processing and routing requests for patient data to and from their program. In addition, they have complete control over who can and cannot access the system thereby preventing inappropriate access. All communications are handled with industry-standard encryption algorithms to ensure confidentiality and compliance with privacy laws. Technology is housed within secure, redundant facilities to ensure uninterrupted access and support.
“In addition to all of the technological advantage and efficiencies, NABP InterConnect operates within one administrative infrastructure,” explains Burleson. “Instead of having to sign multiple agreements regarding how to share data with multiple state PMPs, each program must only sign a single agreement with NABP, and NABP ensures that the operations are maintained in accordance with each state’s laws and regulations regarding data access and monitoring. Other proposed solutions for interstate data sharing do not possess these administrative or technical advantages, and also are not currently operational.”
NABP has absorbed all costs of developing and operating the NABP InterConnect since its inception, and no government funding has been requested in this process. NABP is committed to operating the program at no cost to participating states for at least five years, and intends to extend that commitment so that no state must pay in order to participate in NABP InterConnect.
More information on the NABP InterConnect program is available at www.nabp.net.
NABP is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its state member boards and jurisdictions in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of protecting the public health.