Continuing its national leadership in addressing the misuse of prescription drugs, New Jersey this week launched the first-in-the-nation online app that allows authorized users of the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program access to the database via Apple smartphones and handheld devices. The move is another important step in the Christie Administration’s commitment to prevent drug abuse and save lives in the Garden State.
The NJPMP, maintained by the Division of Consumer Affairs, collects detailed information on prescriptions filled in New Jersey for controlled dangerous substances (CDS) – the category of drugs that includes potentially addictive opiate painkillers – and Human Growth Hormone. The NJPMP provides a searchable database to state-licensed prescribers and pharmacists and aids in identifying patients who have engaged in “doctor shopping” – deceptively visiting multiple physicians to obtain more prescription drugs than any one doctor would prescribe – or in trying to illegally obtain prescription drugs through use of multiple pharmacies.
The app is located at iTunes and is free of charge to users. Android and Windows Mobile versions of the app will be available this summer.
“We’re working hard to expand the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program and this new app is the latest in an ongoing series of upgrades to the NJPMP since we launched it in late 2011,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “The more user-friendly we make the NJPMP, the more prescribers and pharmacists will use it. Their participation is of critical importance as we collectively work to address prescription drug abuse.”
As of April 9, 2015, 88.4% of the state’s 29,400 licensed doctors had registered to use the NJPMP database. About 169,000 user requests were submitted to the NJPMP during the preceding 30-day period.
“We’re fostering increased use of the NJPMP. The abuse of prescription drugs is a national issue that we in New Jersey are addressing on multiple fronts,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “The ongoing increase in NJPMP registration is welcomed but we strive for even greater participation among prescribers and pharmacists.”
To encourage participation, the Division of Consumer Affairs revised the NJPMP enrollment process after the program launched, granting automatic enrollment to all New Jersey doctors who successfully applied for the renewal of their State-granted authority to prescribe CDS. The Division also launched an outreach campaign, sending staff to hospitals to meet with doctors and explain the NJPMP program to them.
In 2014, the Division expanded the NJPMP to include direct data-sharing with the PMPs maintained by Connecticut and Delaware, and began efforts to build a similar data-sharing partnership with New York State.