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Larissa Doucette

State prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) were connected to the prevention of nearly one opioid-related overdose death every two hours on average nationwide, reports a new study led by Vanderbilt University. The study, “Implementation of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Associated With Reductions in Opioid-Related Death Rates,” analyzed mortality data and data on states’ PDMPs from 1999 to 2013 to assess if programs were effective in reducing the number of opioid-related overdose deaths, according to the news release. The objective of the study, published in Health Affairs journal, was to determine whether the implementation or particular characteristics of the PDMPs were effective in reducing opioid-related overdose deaths. State PDMPs that had robust characteristics, including monitoring greater numbers of drugs with abuse potential and updating their data at least weekly, had great reductions in deaths compared to state PDMPs that did not have these characteristics.

Launched in 2011, NABP PMP InterConnect® is currently processing more than 2.7 million requests and 4.5 million responses per month for consolidated multistate prescription monitoring program (PMP) reports. PMP InterConnect enhances the benefits of state PMPs by allowing authorized users in the United States to access PMP data from across state lines, for a more complete patient record. Participating state PMPs that use this highly secure communications exchange platform (which does not store data) have access to information that can be an effective means for combating drug diversion and drug abuse nationwide. Currently, 43 states have executed memorandums of understanding to be part of PMP InterConnect, 33 PMPs are active, and 40 states are expected to be active by the end of 2016. For more information about PMP InterConnect, visit the Programs section of the NABP website.