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Proposal tightens rules for prescription monitoring in NJ

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In a move to advance New Jersey’s fight against opioid addiction, the state has proposed new rules for the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program that would further mandate use of the centralized database and make it easier for prescribers to monitor patient use of opioid painkillers and other controlled drugs that can lead to addiction.

The proposed rules broaden conditions under which practitioners are required to look up patient records on the NJPMP prior to prescribing opioid pain medication, adding new requirements for prescriptions, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office.

Under the proposal, prescribers would be required to check the NJPMP before prescribing any opioid, not solely those in the most tightly restricted “Schedule II” category.

For the first time, according to the proposed rules, physicians would have to check the NJPMP before prescribing benzodiazepines, a class of sedative drugs like Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin that, when taken in combination with opioids, greatly increase the chance of a fatal overdose. 

“New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program is one of our most powerful tools in combatting addiction to prescription drugs,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. “With these new rules, the NJPMP will be even more effective in preventing abuse and diversion of opioids and other drugs fueling New Jersey’s addiction crisis,” Grewal said.

In addition to expanding the conditions under which a prescriber is required to look up patient records on the NJPMP, the new rules expand access to that information.

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Anthony Vecchione

Anthony Vecchione covers health care for NJBIZ. You can contact him at: Avecchione@njbiz.com.

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