In response to the rise in deaths related to prescription opioid and heroin overdose, President Barack Obama has announced federal, state, local, and private sector efforts aimed to prevent and treat opioid addiction. As part of the plan, President Obama issued a memorandum directing federal departments and agencies to provide opioid prescribing training to federal health care providers who prescribe controlled substances as part of their federal responsibilities. Obama intends for these federal efforts to serve as a model for similar actions throughout the United States. In addition, agencies that provide or facilitate access to health benefits are directed to review and identify obstacles to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders and develop a plan to address these obstacles.
Further, state, local, and private sector entities have made a commitment to ensure that more health care providers complete opioid prescriber training and to double the number of health care providers registered with their state prescription monitoring program (PMP). Further, these state and local entities have committed to doubling the number of physicians certified to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment and to doubling the number of providers who prescribe the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, according to the White House press release. NABP’s PMP activities were also cited in the news release.
Currently, 30 states are actively sharing PMP data using NABP PMP InterConnect®, the 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. The program launched in July 2011, with more state PMPs participating each year since the launch. Maryland was the most recent state to go live and joined PMPs in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. PMP InterConnect is expected to see continued growth moving into 2016 as one state has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to participate and five states and one jurisdiction have MOUs under review. By end of 2016, NABP anticipates a total of 13 more states and one jurisdiction to be connected to PMP InterConnect.
NABP continues to work with other states to facilitate their participation. Additional information about PMP InterConnect is available in the Programs section of the NABP website.