DeSaulnier, Carter Provision To Expand Multi-State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Included in Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Package

May 13, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC Today, the US House of Representatives passed a package of bipartisan bills aimed at addressing the opioid abuse crisis including the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act (H.R. 5046). This bill would authorize $103 million in grants to states for programs aimed at providing substance abuse treatment. Included in the bill is a bipartisan measure introduced by Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), which would allow grant funding to be used for the development of interoperable multi-state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). California and Georgia are among the states utilizing PDMPs.

“Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that impacts families and communities across our country. By tracking the sale and purchase of prescription drugs both within and between states we can greatly reduce ‘doctor shopping.’ Drug addiction is a preventable disease, and I am proud to have championed legislation as a state senator to fully implement California’s existing PDMP that has successfully registered over 200,000 prescribers and dispensers. On a national level, our bipartisan measure will bolster new and existing PDMPs by helping to develop multi-state monitoring programs to prevent addicts from crossing state lines to fill prescriptions. I thank Representative Buddy Carter for working with me to improve the effectiveness of one of the most important tools in the fight against opioid abuse,” said Representative DeSaulnier.

“As a lifelong pharmacist and the author of the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, I know firsthand that Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are key to fighting prescription drug abuse in America,” said Representative Carter. “To increase the effectiveness of these programs, states must be able to work together. Unfortunately, today, most states are not interoperable and that is why this amendment is so important. States should have every opportunity to share information effectively and efficiently about patients and the patterns that occur with interstate prescription drug trafficking. I thank Representative Sensenbrenner for the underlying legislation and Representative DeSaulnier for working with me to ensure Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are as effective as possible.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug abuse has risen to epidemic proportions over the last decade. It is estimated that 44 Americans die every day from a prescription painkiller overdose. The bipartisan package of bills, including H.R. 5046, now moves to a House and Senate conference committee, and is expected to be signed into law in the near future.