Senators Introduce Bill To Reauthorize Rx Drug Monitoring Program

June 26, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, a group of bipartisan senators introduced legislation that would reauthorize a nationwide grant program to help states electronically track prescription drugs in an effort to reduce misuse, Seacoast Online reports (Seacoast Online, 6/26).

Background

The National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act, approved in 2005, allocated more than $50 million to states to create programs allowing physicians and other authorized users to access certain patient medical records.

The law’s intent is to spur the creation of a coordinated national system (iHealthBeat, 5/3/2010).

Bill Details

The legislation would reauthorize the law, which provides grants to state-based prescription monitoring programs to expand, improve and maintain their systems.

The bill was introduced by Sens.:

  • Dick Durbin (D-Ill.);
  • Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.);
  • Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.); and
  • Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

The lawmakers said the reauthorized program would help law enforcement, public health officials and state regulators investigate prescribing and dispensing practices (Seacoast Online, 6/26).

In a release, Shaheen noted that NASPER can help support existing monitoring programs by improving their ability to provide information to health care providers.

Shaheen said, “Prescription drug monitoring programs work in stemming the illegal diversion of abused prescription drugs and I’m hopeful that the bipartisan reauthorization of NASPER will enhance these efforts because it will provide critical funding to coordinate state programs while also improving access to data for health care providers” (Shaheen release, 6/25).

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