Mass. AG-Elect Unveils Plans To Enhance State’s Rx Drug Database

January 8, 2015 in News

On Monday, Massachusetts Attorney General-elect Maura Healey (D) announced plans to expand the state’s prescription drug monitoring database as part of larger effort to stem prescription drug misuse, the Boston Globe reports.

Background on Rx Drug Database

The Massachusetts’ Prescription Monitoring Program is run by the state’s Department of Public Health. 

The secure website is updated with data from physicians who write prescriptions, and it can be used by pharmacists to help detect patterns of fraud or misuse when filling prescription orders. However, under the current program, pharmacists are not required to run patients’ names through the system before dispensing potentially addictive medications (Ebbert, Boston Globe, 1/5).

Healey’s Announcement

In a release, Healey said she wants to expand the prescription drug monitoring program and make the website easier to use, AP/WBUR reports (LeBlanc, AP/WBUR, 1/5).

Specifically, Healey said she plans to:

  • Achieve real-time reporting of a patient’s recent prescription history to allow pharmacists to access the most up-to-date data;
  • Improve data sharing among providers and pharmacists in other states; and
  • Require pharmacists to check a patient’s records through the system before dispensing a prescription for potentially addictive drugs.

According to the Boston Globe, such a requirement could require new legislation (Boston Globe, 1/5).


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