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Larissa Doucette

Pharmacy shopping and prescription opioid overdoses are often associated, finds a new study. Nearly half of all deaths related to prescription opioids involved Medicaid recipients, and they were associated with using multiple pharmacies to fill the prescriptions within a short period of time, reports the American Pain Society in a press release. Researchers followed more than 90,000 Medicaid patients from 2008 to 2010, and determined that patients who filled prescriptions for opioid medications at four or more pharmacies within 90 days had the highest odds for opioid overdose events. Patients who had overlapping prescriptions were at the highest risk of overdose.

State PMPs are one tool that may assist health care providers in making the most appropriate prescribing and dispensing decisions and to help identify patients who may be misusing or abusing medications. By successfully facilitating the secure sharing of interstate PMP data, the NABP PMP InterConnect® enhances the benefits of state PMPs by providing health care providers with access to a more complete record of a patient’s controlled substance medication history. Launched in 2011, PMP InterConnect was developed by NABP to facilitate national interoperability and interstate data sharing between state PMPs by providing a highly secure communications exchange platform for participating states. Importantly, the system does not house any data and ensures that states retain control of their data and that each state’s data access rules are enforced.