Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $50,000)
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 Montana Board of Crime Control and the Montana Board of Pharmacy (MBOP) will use the grant funds to implement an electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The goals of MBOP's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program are to: identify drug diversion and drug abuse cases in a more timely fashion; identify prescribing drug trends; reduce investigation time; enhance prescriber's decision process when prescribing a drug therapy; enhance a pharmacist's decision process when dispensing a drug; and, decrease health care fraud. The Montana State Legislature is expected to pass a bill, to be signed by the Governor, and an Advisory Committee will be convened to design the electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, set thresholds for what constitutes suspicious activity, determine accessibility and allowing access to the information in the database, and determine the format that the information will be made available. The MBOP will work with local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, as well as with the representative stakeholders from health care, licensing boards, and others on various prescribing issues, to adopt rules, and to evaluate the achievement of the program goals, the performance measures, and the educational programs relating to the drug database and monitoring program.