Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $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 Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is an enhancement grantee who will utilize FY 2008 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program funding to implement a Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). MDPH will receive funds to build upon recent and ongoing Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant projects and other enhancement initiatives by undertaking new initiatives to help address the problems of prescription drug abuse and diversion in Massachusetts. The PMP has contributed to public health and public safety solutions since its beginning in 1992. Under current BJA grants to Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is enhancing the PMP to: improve analysis of PMP data; improve access to and utilization of PMP findings; engage prescribers, pharmacists, and the healthcare community in the use of PMP data; and, facilitate partnerships with PMPs in New England and New York for information exchange. PMP strategies will encompass both public health and public safety approaches in addressing the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Through this grant, the Massachusetts DPH will strengthen initiatives that complement current BJA grant projects. The enhancements will improve the program's ability to: undertake efforts to expand the scope of the program to monitor drug products beyond Schedule II; continue IT enhancement efforts to implement an electronic interchange system for provision of PMP data reports to law enforcement and registered practitioners; initiate educational programs for prescribers, pharmacists, law enforcement, regulatory agencies, and others regarding the Massachusetts PMP; and, continue increasing the efficiency of data utilization.