Today, Klobuchar and Senators Joe Manchin and Angus King introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states
This bill would curb the kind of doctor shopping that facilitates addiction; One patient at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation treatment center told Klobuchar that he filled 108 prescriptions for painkillers from more than 85 different prescribers
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today, along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Angus King (I-ME), introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states. The introduction of this bill comes on the day the Senate is poised to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which Klobuchar introduced with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and would encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against addiction.
“As a former prosecutor, I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by opioid abuse in communities across the country. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act is an important step to get families and communities the resources needed to save lives and reverse this deadly trend. Still, there is more work to do to fund these initiatives and strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs,” Klobuchar said. “The bill I have introduced today – the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act – would require states to have prescription drug monitoring programs that use best practices, curbing the kind of doctor shopping that facilitates addiction. In May, I heard from a patient at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation treatment center who filled 108 prescriptions for painkillers from more than 85 different prescribers. We know that opioid addiction too often begins with the abuse of legal prescription painkillers. And with this bill, we can do something about that.”
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act would:
· Require drug dispensers in covered states to report to the PDMP each opioid prescription that they dispense to patients within 24 hours.
· Require practitioners in covered states to consult the PDMP before prescribing opioids to patients.
· Require states to actively notify practitioners when the PDMP shows that a patient exhibits patterns indicative of opioid misuse.
To ensure that PDMP data is available across state lines, the bill would also provide for the creation of an inter-state PDMP data-sharing platform and require all covered states to make their individual PDMP data available on this platform.
Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. Klobuchar and Senator Joe Manchin recently introduced the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (LifeBOAT), which would establish a permanent funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. In September 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances. As Hennepin County Attorney, drug cases accounted for one-third of her office’s total caseload.
Klobuchar took to the Senate floor today to discuss her new bill and the importance of passing CARA. For a broadcast-quality video excerpt of Klobuchar’s remarks, click here.