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State announces expansion of program to prevent misuse of prescription drugs; combat the opioid crisis

The program allows doctors, nurses, others to look up a patient’s prescription history

HARTFORD, Conn. — Governor Ned Lamont and Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull announced Wednesday that the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Drug Control Division has received $1.3 million in funding through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide free access to a Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Gateway for prescribers and pharmacists.

“And it allows the integration of healthcare records in the Prescription Monitoring Program. And what the program does, it allows doctors, nurses, others to look up a patient’s prescription history,” said Seagull.

“This direct connection to the database funded by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services allows providers and others to directly query the PMP gateway from the patient’s open medical record, negating the need to log in to a separate system and find the patient using birthdates and other information,” said Dr. Steven Wolf, chair of the emergency department at Saint Francis Hospital.

This integration allows providers to fulfill their requirement to check patient records in the PMP before prescribing opioids and other controlled substance in certain circumstances.

“It allows them to understand the full nature of their patient’s prescription drug use. They can recognize drug interactions, possible drug use,” said Seagull.

“This money will help fund a program that ensures that addicts don’t doctor shop, don’t disappear, don’t use different sources of prescription drugs,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Governor Lamont called the program expansion a critical investment in bringing the state’s IT up to speed as the state continues work to curb the crisis.

“No longer will the doctor be able to say I didn’t know. I didn’t know they’d already gotten the prescription. Now there’s no excuse. Now we’ll know,” said Gov. Lamont.

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