New Jersey offers pharmacists, doctors app to help monitor prescription drug abuse

By Aditi Pai
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NJPMPNew Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs has launched a new app for iPhones that will allow authorized users of the state’s prescription monitoring program, prescribers and pharmacists licensed in New Jersey, access to the database via their smartphone.

The database is managed by the New Jersey Prescription Management Program (NJPMP), a program under the Division of Consumer Affairs. The NJPMP collects data on prescriptions filled in New Jersey for controlled dangerous substances (CDS). This category of drugs includes opiate painkillers and human growth hormones. Prescribers can use the database to identify patients who have engaged in “doctor shopping”, which the NJPMP explains is "deceptively visiting multiple physicians to obtain more prescription drugs than any one doctor would prescribe -- or in trying to illegally obtain prescription drugs through use of multiple pharmacies".

“We’re working hard to expand the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program and this new app is the latest in an ongoing series of upgrades to the NJPMP since we launched it in late 2011,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement. “The more user-friendly we make the NJPMP, the more prescribers and pharmacists will use it. Their participation is of critical importance as we collectively work to address prescription drug abuse.”

Prescribers can also use the database to run a "self look-up" and see if they had unwittingly prescribed medications to patients committing prescription fraud.

According to the NJPMP, 88.4 percent of the state’s 29,400 licensed doctors had registered to use the NJPMP database as of early April and about 169,000 user requests were submitted to the NJPMP during the preceding 30-day period.

While the app is only available for iPhones, the NJPMP plans to launch Android and Windows apps by the summer.