Legislation to Mandate NJ Prescription Drug Monitoring Passes Assembly



Matt Scuteri
Media Coordinator
Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey
201 916 1032

Legislation to Mandate NJ Prescription Drug Monitoring Passes Assembly

TRENTON – Legislation designed to make it harder to doctor shop was passed by a unanimous vote in the New Jersey State Assembly, Thursday.

Assembly Bill 3062 was designed to strengthen and mandate New Jersey’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP), which requires physicians to monitor potentially dangerous substances prescribed.

“This is a very positive step toward ending prescription drug and heroin abuse in our state,” said Elaine Pozycki, co-chair of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. “A mandated PMP brings New Jersey closer to a comprehensive opiate abuse prevention strategy,” explained Pozycki.

Assembly Bill 3062, and its companion, Senate Bill 1998, which passed the New Jersey State Senate last month were introduced as a response to the State Commission of Investigation’s report on prescription drug and heroin abuse, which indicated that the illegal distribution of opiate based prescriptions stems from over prescribing by physicians or “doctor shopping” practices.

According to Pozycki, a mandatory PMP is not a new concept in the United States. In  New York State, the program helped to reduce doctor shopping rates by 74% after doctors were required to check the PMP. Currently, New Jersey shares information with Connecticut and Delaware.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled prescription drug abuse an epidemic, reporting that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade and more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers.