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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2017 10:50 AM
From: Representative Gene DiGirolamo
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Prescribers to Check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

In the near future I plan to reintroduce legislation amending and strengthening the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Act. The new prescription monitoring program which was implemented last summer.

In a nutshell, there will now be a systematic way for prescribers and dispensers in Pennsylvania to observe their patients’ use of controlled substances. It will be a health care tool which we hope will cut down on the abuse and misuse of powerful prescription drugs. Among all controlled substances, painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin will be monitored. If doctor shopping behaviors are noted, the database will allow for a therapeutic moment when that patient can be referred to treatment for their addiction.

Current law mandates that prescribers check the database in the following situations:
  • For each patient the first time the patient is prescribed a controlled substance by the prescriber for purposes of establishing a baseline and a thorough medical record;
  • If a prescriber believes or has reason to believe, using sound clinical judgment, that a patient may be abusing or diverting drugs; or
  • Each time a patient is prescribed an opioid drug product or benzodiazepine by the prescriber.

My legislation will require that prescribers query the system every time a controlled substance is prescribed for every patient. This will serve as a wonderful tool in our fight against prescription drug abuse. My legislation will strengthen the provisions related to prescriber query of the system to mandate that it be used every time. I urge you to join me in co-sponsorship of this important legislation.

Introduced as HB396