Today Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) praised a landmark agreement to facilitate the safe and secure exchange of drug data among state-run prescription monitoring programs (PDMP). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has committed to comply with the PMIX (Prescription Monitoring Information Exchange) Architecture, a common set of technical standards facilitated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Based on broadly supported industry and government open standards, the PMIX Architecture provides the framework to make full data exchange possible while reducing the cost of sharing information. Adoption of the agreement will be voted on during the Association of States with Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs' (ASPMP) National Meeting in Washington, D.C. Rogers will deliver the keynote address at the meeting on June 4, 2012.
"The abuse of prescription pills is our country's number one drug threat, with Rx overdoses now surpassing motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death nationwide. Our medicine cabinets are more dangerous than our cars. The announcement today by NABP and the Justice Department ensures connectivity among all state prescription drug monitoring programs and is a huge step in the right direction. I'm incredibly pleased that we've overcome this hurdle at long last," stated Rogers, a long-time proponent of interoperability among state-run PDMPs. "With nearly all 50 states supporting PDMPs, state-to-state data exchange is the obvious next step. I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Congress and the White House, as well as stakeholders around the country, as we continue to wage this battle against prescription drug abuse. Today's announcement is a win for the good guys."
Rogers has been a leader in Congress in combating the abuse of prescription drugs for more than a decade. In 2002, Rogers established a grant program in the U.S. Department of Justice to support states that plan for, establish or enhance existing PDMPs. Since that time, the number of states with authorized PDMPs has tripled from 15 to 48; however, a secure interstate exchange system has lagged. Today's announcement and the adoption of the PMIX Architecture in June will significantly close that gap, and data exchanges will soon allow doctors, pharmacists, and investigators to sniff out the interstate doctor shopping that has fueled the pill pipeline in our country. Both the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Department of Justice have developed separate hub solutions to achieve exchange. DOJ's RxCheck hub has demonstrated successful prescription information exchange in a 2011 pilot between the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) system and the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS). In operation since August 2011, the NABP PMP InterConnect hub has already processed over 265,000 interstate requests for PDMP data. Nine states are already connected to and using PMP InterConnect and nearly a dozen others intend to sign on, to include KASPER and OARRS.
In order to ensure hub-to-hub connectivity, Rogers introduced the ID MEDS Act (H.R. 4292) earlier this year to establish a nationally standardized system to share such information. The PMIX Architecture, developed by a broad base of public and private stakeholders, meets the requirements laid out in H.R. 4292, and today's announcement paves the way for eventual nationwide state participation. While DOJ has given priority in making Hal Rogers PDMP grant awards to states committed to interstate data sharing for the past several years, NABP's commitment to the PMIX Architecture will ensure that more states are able to utilize these grant funds to share information across state lines.
In addition, the ID MEDS Act requires a report to analyze the feasibility of making PDMPs interoperable with other relevant technologies and databases, including electronic prescribing systems, DEA databases, electronic health records, and pre-payment fraud-detecting analytics technologies. These synergies will be critical to further integrate PDMPs into the workflow of prescribers, pharmacists and investigators.
As part of his efforts to fight this growing epidemic, Rogers joined with Representatives Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) and Stephen Lynch in forming the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, which aims to raise awareness of abuse and to work toward innovative and effective policy solutions, incorporating treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research. Due in large part to his leadership on the issue, Rogers gave the keynote address at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit on April 11, 2012. Rogers has served Kentucky's 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving southern and eastern Kentucky's natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents.