AG announces $1.4M in funding to enhance prescription monitoring program

TRENTON, NJ — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Kelly E. Levy, acting director of the Office of the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Response and Enforcement Strategies, announced Nov. 30 that the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program was awarded $1.4 million in competitive federal funding from the FY22 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to enhance the state’s existing program that helps prescribers monitor patient use of opioid painkillers and other controlled drugs that can lead to addiction and fatal overdoses.

This is in addition to the $972,426 in opioid settlement funds earmarked by Gov. Phil Murphy for the NJPMP. Those funds will be used to support the NJPMP’s electronic health record integration, which will improve ease of access and increase utilization of the NJPMP so that health care providers can make the best data-informed treatment decisions for their patients.

The NJPMP, within the Division of Consumer Affairs, is an electronic database that collects information from pharmacies on the dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, such as opioids, to individual patients. The monitoring program allows health care professionals to see a patient’s prescription drug history with the aim of improving overall prescribing practices and reducing the risk of potential abuse or fraud by patients who obtain prescriptions from multiple providers.

Since the NJPMP began operating in 2011, a total of 53,259 prescribers and 8,137 pharmacists have registered for access to the NJPMP, representing approximately 97 percent of eligible prescribers. To date, more than 137 million controlled dangerous substance, human growth hormone and gabapentin prescriptions have been entered into the NJPMP from more than 3,300 licensed pharmacies.

The grant funds will further New Jersey’s efforts to prevent the abuse, misuse and diversion of controlled substances and will help prescribers make better clinical decisions. Specifically, the award will fund five critical enhancements:

  • Investigation Alerts Module. With this tool, the NJPMP administrator will be notified in near real-time when a patient of a prescriber who is under investigation has filled a prescription associated with that prescriber’s DEA registration number.
  • NJPMP Reporting Exemption Module. Currently, state-licensed pharmacies that are eligible to apply for NJPMP reporting exemptions must do so in paper form on an annual basis. The funding will upgrade the paper process to a streamlined electronic process. 
  • Public NJPMP data dashboard. The interactive dashboard will hold more than 137 million anonymized prescription records going back to 2011.
  • Interactive Reporting Module. This module will allow the NJPMP to share enhanced data analytics and visual insights for state investigations by developing customized investigation-based reports about prescribers, pharmacies and patients for use in state-initiated prescription-related investigations.
  • NJPMP programmatic enhancements. The NJPMP will implement platform modifications with its vendor to ensure that New Jersey health care practitioners are equipped with the most sophisticated prescription medication analytics program.

“I am proud that the federal government has recognized the NJPMP’s innovative work with an award of over $1 million in competitive funds,” Platkin said. “Combating the opioid crisis requires us to use every tool in the toolbox and these grant dollars, together with funding already provided by the Murphy administration to bolster our efforts, means that we will remain on the cutting edge of technological solutions to address this national public health crisis.”

“The NJPMP is a highly effective tool in our fight against the opioid crisis. It helps ensure that prescribers and pharmacists have access to key signs of abuse and addiction,” said Cari Fais, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “These enhancements to the NJPMP will prevent opioids from falling into the wrong hands and will make the NJPMP an even stronger and more user-friendly tool for clinicians.”

“Since the establishment of the NJPMP in 2011, the department has been investing in enhancing the program to ensure prescribers and pharmacists have greater ability to prevent the abuse, misuse and diversion of opioid drugs,” Levy said. “This additional federal funding allocated for the NJPMP will undoubtedly continue our work towards strengthening the system by improving and advancing its data analytic capabilities.”