INDUSTRY WATCH: September/October 2014

New Hampshire PDMP Now Operational

Continuing her efforts to improve the health and safety of New Hampshire’s communities and families by addressing rising rates of prescription drug abuse, Governor Maggie Hassan today announced the launch of the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (NH PDMP).

“The rising rates of opiate and heroin abuse represent one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges facing New Hampshire, straining our families, hurting the productivity of our workers and undermining the safety of our communities,” Governor Hassan said. “Our prescription drug monitoring program is an important tool that will ensure stronger oversight of controlled substance prescriptions, help identify potential abuse, and help prevent doctor shopping.”

Beginning today, New Hampshire providers and pharmacists who are authorized to prescribe or dispense schedule II-IV controlled substances within the state can begin to register with the program. Once registered with the program, providers and pharmacists will be able to use the information in the database and review any control history a patient may have prior to prescribing or dispensing controlled substances.

Providers and pharmacists are encouraged to use the NH PDMP as a tool to help provide patients better care in managing their health and prescriptions, to promote public health and safety through the prevention and treatment for misuse and abuse of controlled substances, and to assist in the reduction of the diversion of controlled substances.

“With this critical program going live, we have taken another important step in our ongoing efforts to address our substance misuse challenge,” Governor Hassan said. “The implementation of our prescription drug monitoring program took the hard work and advocacy of countless people, and I applaud and thank them for their efforts. We will continue working with public health and safety officials, the law enforcement community, and health care providers to refine the program and improve the health and safety of our families, our communities, and our state.”

The NH PDMP was created by legislation that was signed in 2012, and the state received a federal grant earlier this year to implement the program. New Hampshire joins 48 other states that currently have prescription monitoring programs in place.

Since entering office, Governor Hassan has worked to address the rising rate of substance use in New Hampshire, signing a bipartisan health care expansion plan that includes a substance use disorder benefit, joining her fellow New England governors to develop a regional strategy to address this growing problem, and increasing the safe and effective use of Narcan by first responders to treat overdoses.

For more information on the program, please contact the NH PDMP manager, Michelle R. Ricco Jonas B.S., CPM, at (603) 271-6980.