Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $400,000)
Since the beginning of FY 2002, Congress has appropriated funding to the U.S. Department of Justice to support the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Prescription drug monitoring programs enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data through a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. These programs are designed to help prevent and detect the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, particularly at the retail level where no other automated information collection system exists.
States that have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs have the capability of collecting and analyzing prescription data much more efficiently than states without such programs, where the collection of prescription information requires the manual review of pharmacy files which is a very time consuming and invasive process. The increased efficiency of prescription drug monitoring programs allows for the early detection of abuse trends and possible sources of diversion.
According to studies, the State of Alabama ranks third in the distribution of hydrocodone and is one of the states with the highest number of prescription per capita written for OxyContin. There is currently no information or education on drug diversion and related problems readily available to the public, law enforcement, medical professions or the business community. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will utilize the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Enhancement Award (PDMP) to continue: the development of law enforcement access and allow live access by licensed practitioners and pharmacists; the development and implementation of professional education programs; the development and implementation of educational programs for law enforcement; and, to educate the public. Some strategies include: purchasing additional software, as needed, to support the database; making enhancements to the current PDMP database by developing better trend reports and improving the practitioner and pharmacist access; attending local, state, and national meetings to enhance knowledge of PDP systems and national issues; addressing the issue of sharing data with other states when setting up Alabama's database; and, conducting statewide public awareness campaigns to highlight issues related to prescription drug diversion, abuse, and addiction. The new PDMP activities will inform Alabamians who presently are largely unaware of the extent of the illegal use of controlled substances within the state.