Just five weeks after announcing a $1.2 million program to help healthcare entities identify patients at risk of opioid abuse or overdose, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced 225 entities have requested access to the program.
The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) database allows doctors and pharmacists to have automatic, streamlined access to information on patients’ prescription use of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), including opioids.
“To defeat the opioid crisis, we need to use every tool in our toolbox, including the latest technology,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are encouraged by the overwhelming response to our funding offer and heartened by the lives it will undoubtedly save. We will continue to expand and enhance the use of the NJPMP and other data-driven solutions to help us bring an end to the addiction epidemic.”
Pay for through federal funding, the program is operated within the Division of Consumer Affairs and collects information from pharmacies on the dispensing of CDS to individual patients. Creating a record for each patient allows healthcare providers to see a patient’s prescription drug history. The database is designed to improve prescribing practices, target treatment for at-risk patients, and mitigate the risk of abuse or fraud by patients who get multiple prescriptions from multiple providers.
When Grewal announced the software’s availability in August 2020, 175 healthcare providers had integrated their digital systems with the NJPMP. Since then, another 225 entities have come on board, Grewal said in a press release.
The NJPMP contains records for more than 112 million prescriptions dispensed in New Jersey. Each record in the database contains more than 100 unique data elements, including names and addresses of patients, prescribers, and pharmacies; the drug dispensing date; the type, days’ supply and quantity of medication; and payment method.
New Jersey law requires prescribers and pharmacists to review a patient’s prescription history in certain circumstances, especially when prescribing a CDS for the first time or prescribing benzodiazepine or opioids. Prescribers or pharmacists must also review a patient’s drug history if they feel like a patient is seeking a CDS for any use other than treatment.