A federal bill introduced Thursday would link states’ prescription drug monitoring programs. The proposed nationwide system would allow physicians to see if a new patient has a history of drug abuse in another state before writing a prescription.
The bill, the Interstate Drug Monitoring Efficiency and Data Sharing Act, was introduced by a bipartisan group of House and Senate legislators, The Hill reports. The system would make it easier for law enforcement officials to track and prosecute drug dealers, according to Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, a sponsor of the bill.
The new system would create uniform requirements for data encryption and formatting. Currently there is no national standard for exchanging prescription drug monitoring information across state lines.
“While my region of Southern and Eastern Kentucky became ground zero for the abuse of prescription drugs a decade ago, it is now wreaking havoc on communities small and large and cutting across socioeconomic and gender lines,” Rogers said in a news release. “Prescription drug monitoring programs are one of the most efficient and cost-effective tools in our arsenal to cut back on this abuse, bridging the gap between legitimate medical need and potential misuse.”
The article notes that 48 states have prescription drug monitoring programs in some form.
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