Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to participate in the prescription monitoring program (PMP) Interconnect system, currently under development. PMP Interconnect will allow the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy to be linked to other PMPs across the United States, in an effort to combat prescription drug abuse.
"When prescription drugs are abused families are left heartbroken and torn apart, communities suffer and America as a whole loses," Gov. Tomblin said. "West Virginia has policies and laws that govern prescription drugs and yet the problem persists. It is my hope that as the new PMP Interconnect comes to fruition and more states sign on, together we can stop the heartache that too many families have already suffered."
Currently state prescription monitoring programs, like West Virginia's, collect prescription data so that physicians and pharmacists can get a complete picture of a patients' controlled substance use. Though many states have such systems, they lack interoperability and data sharing, making it more difficult to identify doctor shoppers. The PMP Interconnect aims to increase early detection of prescription abuse and doctor shopping.
With the anticipated launch of the PMP Interconnect in July, law enforcement and regulatory agencies will be able to identify attempts to illegally divert controlled substances across state lines. In addition to West Virginia, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, Louisiana and Connecticut have signed memorandum of understanding agreements with NABP.
The PMP Interconnect will be funded through grants obtained by the NABP Foundation.