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.
The Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) expanded statewide in 2006 and now holds information on prescriptions dispensed in Schedules II, III, and IV. As a result of this expansion, the PMP program responded to more than three times as many requests for information in 2006 compared to 2005. However, the PMP program is only available to users during normal business hours Monday through Friday making the program essentially unusable for prescribers working in emergency rooms and urgent care centers as well as for pharmacists working in 24 hour pharmacies. The Department of Health Professions (DHP) will use their 2007 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program funds to purchase software that will dramatically improve the search capabilities and allow for automatic reports giving access to information in the database 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This will be an additional tool for prescribers in determining appropriate medication for their patients, and for pharmacists needing to verify the validity of a prescription.