Support for Unified Prescription Monitoring Program

WHEREAS, non-medical use of narcotic pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives ranks second (behind marijuana) as a category of illicit drug abuse among adults and youth [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health]; and WHEREAS, in 2002, 6.2 million Americans were current abusers of prescription drugs (SAMHSA, 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health); and WHEREAS, 13.7 percent of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 have abused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime (Monitoring the Future, Lifetime Drug Use for Prescription Drugs); and WHEREAS, emergency room visits resulting from narcotic pain relievers abuse have increased 163 percent since 1995 (SAMHSA 2002 Drug Abuse Warning Network); and WHEREAS, Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMP) detect suspicious prescriptions and individuals redeeming prescriptions from multiple physicians (“doctor shopping”) to identify abusers and also emphasize to the professional community and public at large that controlled pharmaceuticals have a substantial abuse potential and their use is being monitored; and WHEREAS, physicians and pharmacies can use PMPs as a screening tool to determine if patients are visiting other doctors or locations to obtain controlled substance prescriptions and as a result, investigators need not raise suspicion as to the existence of an investigation or identity of a target until sufficient information has been obtained from the PMP to substantiate a complaint; and WHEREAS, PMPs can be used to note increases in the prescribing of a particular drug or problems specific to a geographic area. New drugs of abuse can be tracked as prescriptions increase relative to the population; and PMPs enhance the capability to identify and analyze trends in prescribing and dispensing pharmaceutical drugs; and WHEREAS, the PMP serves as an information base for legislation to address new pharmaceutical drug problems; WHEREAS, access to PMP information is extended only to those individuals and agencies that already have access under prior law; Doctor/patient confidentiality is retained; and WHEREAS, currently 21 states, accounting for approximately half of all physicians and pharmacies have a permanent PMP or pilot project in place and approximately 20 additional states are in the process of establishing a PMP; and WHEREAS, the PMPs are state operated, independent systems designed to collect information regarding controlled substance prescriptions, usually at the point of dispensing; and WHEREAS, the programs, which differ from state to state, typically compile physician, pharmacy, patient, and drug information reported by dispensing pharmacies to a central monitoring agency; and WHEREAS, the PMPs implemented by individual states are uniquely designed to address the specific issues and situations of the state; however, lack of interconnection and communication between the individual programs is a valid concern; now, therefore be it RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), duly assembled at its 111th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, strongly supports the implementation of a uniform PMP to increase the program’s effectiveness and utilization and to provide for the sharing of program data and findings. Additionally, adequate resources should be provided by Congress to enhance statewide PMPs to ensure that each state has automated data collection and analysis capabilities and to assist with the development of a national database to facilitate intelligence and data sharing.