Prescription Monitoring Program

LFDA Editor

SB 286, proposed in January 2012 by Wolfeboro Republican Sen. Jeb Bradley, was signed by Gov. Lynch June 11, 2012.  The bill established a controlled drug prescription monitoring program funded entirely through "grants, gifts, or user contributions." The program officially launched October 16, 2014.

Earlier efforts to create an electronic tracking system in New Hampshire failed in 2005, 2007, and 2010, leaving the Granite State as the only state in New England without the ability to track these drugs.

Assistant Attorney General Philip Bradley told Foster's Daily Democrat: "No one is really able to intervene early now because they don't have that information. A prescription monitoring program lets a doctor know that patient is getting their drugs elsewhere and the prescription he's about to write may be a few too many."

In addition to health providers, the original legislation also allowed access by law enforcement to prescription information.

The law enforcement factor, in addition to the cost -- estimated at $2.2 to $3.5 million -- caused concern during committee hearings on the measure.

"It needs to be more of a public health tool than a law enforcement tool," Bradley said to Foster's.

The final version of SB 286 passed in 2012 still allows for law enforcement access to the information, although only on a case-by-case basis.  Additionally, patient information will be periodically deleted from the database, with the exception of information about patients suspected to be abusing drugs.

In September 2013 the state Board of Pharmacy received a $400,000 federal grant to build the prescription monitoring database and operate the program for two years.  The prescription monitoring program officially launched October 16, 2014.  

In 2016 the legislature appropriated additional funds for upgrades to the program, and passed a law that requires prescribers to use the prescription monitoring program database.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Passed House

Repeals the laws requiring veterinarians to use the prescription drug monitoring database.

Signed by Governor

Originally written to make various changes to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The Senate amended the bill to instead create a commission to study the overdose-reversing drug Narcan.

Signed by Governor

Requires the Board of Medicine, the Board of Dental examiners, the Board of Nursing, the Board of Registration in Optometry, the Board of Podiatry, the Naturopathic Board of Examiners, and the Board of Veterinary Medicine to adopt rules for prescribing controlled drugs, and requires the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database.

Signed by Governor

This bill includes many regulations aimed at combating heroin and prescription drug abuse. For example, this bill increases the penalties for abusing fentanyl and provides funding for an upgrade to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Signed by Governor

Appropriates $130,000 for technology upgrades to the controlled drug prescription health and safety program to support mandatory use and enhanced reporting and information gathering. The House amended the bill to also limit the ability of law enforcement to seize assets in criminal cases.

Signed by Governor

Establishes a commission to study requiring controlled drugs and controlled drug analogs to be provided in abuse-deterrent formulation. Also adds naturopaths to the list of practitioners for the purpose of the prescription drug monitoring program.

Signed by Governor

As originally written, this bill included various measures related to drug addiction, such as adding fentanyl to drug laws. The Senate amended the bill to instead revise the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery and make additional appropriations for drug abuse prevention and treatment.

Killed in the House

Gives law enforcement more access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database.

Killed in the House

Requires pharmacies, hospitals, and prescribers to accept unused prescription drugs.

Signed by Governor

Increases access to overdose-reversing drugs such as Narcan by allowing doctors to pescribe to friends, family members of addicts.

Senate Nonconcurred with the House

Requires an injured worker and his or her health care provider to enter into an opioid treatment agreement outlining the procedures for opioid use under workers’ compensation.

Killed in the House

Establishes a committee to study opioid misuse.

Signed by Governor

Establishes a prescription drug monitoring program funded entirely through "grants, gifts, or user contributions."

Killed in the House

Establishes a prescription drug monitoring program, using public funds.

Should NH continue the Prescription Monitoring Program?

FOR
REPRESENTATIVES

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Comments

BrianDunn's picture
Brian Dunn
- Henniker

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 9:27pm

Drug abuse has always been a problem, and will always continue to be a problem. Rather then continue to persecute the drug abusers and accomplish nothing we need to address the much larger problem. This is the doctors themselves who are issuing out all of the prescription pills. It is completely irresponsible. I knew a girl from college who needed to enter rehab as a young adult. At the time she was on 12 different legal prescriptions from different doctors. Prescriptions ranging from depression, anxiety, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc. The real problem here is that none of the doctors coordinate with one another, and there is no records available to doctors from other doctors to connect all of the dots. She could go to one doctor, get a prescription for something. Go to a second doctor and get another prescription, go to a third doctor and get another. So on and so forth. I know other people who developed a problem for the exact same reasons. We need to begin holding these doctors more accountable for the prescriptions that they are writing and create a system where every doctor and every prescription is known and recorded to all. We can do this with banks and credit scores but not with doctors and health care? This is unacceptable. Only until we address the problems with the doctors prescribing all of these pills we we begin to solve the problem with prescription drug abuse.

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Issue Status

Rep. Carol McGuire is sponsoring HB 291, a 2017 bill that repeals the laws requiring veterinarians to use the prescription drug monitoring database.

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