For Immediate Release: January 26, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Department of Health Professions, Diane Powers, 804-367-4524, Diane.Powers@dhp.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces Grant to Help Doctors Identify Potential Opioid Abuse

~Prescription Monitoring Program receives $3 million grant from PurduePharma~

 

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the Prescription Monitoring Program has been awarded a grant to help integrate use of its data in doctors’ and pharmacists’ regular work flow. The $3.1 million grant from PurduePharma will allow the Department of Health Professions to connect the state PMP with electronic health records (EHR) used by Virginia doctors and pharmacies. This is an additional step in Virginia’s fight against the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose.  

“The epidemic of opioid addiction is a public health emergency in Virginia, and combating it is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Prescription Monitoring Program is a critical prevention tool that helps curb abuse of prescription medications, and I applaud this enhancement that makes the PMP easier and more likely for physicians to use.”

The Virginia PMP allows physicians and pharmacists to check a patient’s prescription history, through the PMP database, for certain prescriptions as reported by in-state and out-of-state pharmacies. Doctors and pharmacists already check the PMP database when prescribing or dispensing controlled substances both to enhance patient care and to help prevent “doctor shopping,” abuse, or diversion of prescription medications.

Integrating the PMP with EHR – through “NarxCare” technology developed by Kentucky-based Appriss – will make the step of checking the PMP easier for prescribers and pharmacists by integrating the PMP query into the existing workflow. The goal is to improve the performance, access and usability of the PMP program data for 18,000 prescribers and 400 pharmacies in the Commonwealth of Virginia by the end of 2017. Appriss is the vendor the Department of Health Professionals uses to operate the PMP.

“The Prescription Monitoring Program is an important resource to help us track prescription data and spot potential abuse,” said Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel. “Integrating this data with electronic health records strengthens the PMP and is an important step in our ongoing battle against the epidemic of opioid abuse.”

“This upgrade of Virginia’s prescription drug monitoring program will allow health providers and pharmacists to more effectively flag at-risk patients and curb prescription drug abuse as we fight against our commonwealth’s opioid abuse epidemic,” said David Brown, Director of the Department of Health Professions.

“Purdue Pharma has supported prescription drug monitoring programs to help reduce the overprescribing of opioids for more than a decade, through funding, and by working with state governments, regulatory agencies and healthcare organizations,” said Mark Timney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Purdue Pharma L.P. “We recognize the immediate need for technology innovations, such as this, to improve access to the PMP data through workflow integration.”

 

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