Gov. Tom Wolf Thursday announced Pennsylvania’s newly redesigned Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is fully operational and will serve as an important tool to help curb the prescription opioid and heroin public health crisis in the commonwealth.
“More than 3,500 Pennsylvanians died last year from drug overdose – that’s an astonishing ten deaths each day,” said Gov. Wolf. “The PDMP allows prescribers and dispensers to query and report information regarding the number of opioids prescribed, and to whom. This program enables healthcare professionals to address potentially fatal drug abuse and provide improved and streamlined care to their patients.”
Since the 1970s, Pennsylvania has had a prescription drug monitoring program, however it’s been run by the Attorney General’s Office and only available to law enforcement.
The new program will be run by the Department of Health and will now be open to licensed health professionals.
The PDMP online database allows prescribers and dispensers of controlled substances to monitor who is obtaining opioids, who prescriptions are being obtained from, and how often they are prescribed.
This critical online tool will support clinicians in identifying patients who may be struggling from the disease of addiction and help connect them with treatment services.
The new system will allow doctors to view patients’ medication histories and be better informed before issuing new prescriptions for controlled substances. Healthcare professionals will now be able to check if their patient recently had a prescription filled from other providers.
The system will help physicians recognize potentially inappropriate medication use.
“The Wolf Administration has launched the new PDMP to empower medical professionals to not only identify patients struggling with addictions, but to prevent substance abuse before it starts,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “Pennsylvania is in the grips of an opioid abuse crisis and the PDMP will help us work together to fight against addiction and reverse this deadly trend. The Department of Health is proud to oversee this outstanding program that will improve prescribing habits, combat abuse, protect patients and save lives.”
By using the new PDMP system, health care professionals will play a key role in reducing opioid abuse and overdoses. Physicians, dentists and providers licensed to prescribe scheduled drugs are required by the law to register in the system.
To learn more about the PA PDMP, register for the PDMP AWARxE, or view tutorial resources available about the new program, visit the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program webpage.
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