Senator proposes bill to incentivize states to share PDMP data with law enforcement

The legislation, introduced by Sen. Bill Cassidy, is designed to provide leverage to the opioid crisis by helping law enforcement better identify bad actors and reducing the number of prescribed opioids.
By Jessica Davis
12:39 PM
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Senator Bill Cassidy, MD, R-Louisiana, introduced a bill to incentivize states that share prescription drug monitoring program data with law enforcement. Credit: C-span

Senate HELP committee member Bill Cassidy, MD, R-Louisiana, introduced a bill on Monday that would incentivize states that share prescription drug monitoring program data with law enforcement and prescriber licensing boards.

The Protection from Overprescribing Act would also require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services consider a state’s compliance with the rule when awarding grants for PDMPs. This analysis would also include whether a state proactively analyzes its PDMP to determine trends in prescribing.

The idea, Cassidy said, is to ensure the authorities have the necessary information to identify bad actors, reduce the number of excessive prescriptions and “any prescribers that repeatedly fall outside of expected norms or standard practices for the prescriber’s field.”

[UPDATE: Latest Senate opioid push: Support interoperability between FDA and border patrol]

“In Louisiana, there is about one opioid prescription for every person,” Cassidy said in a statement. “I and other physicians took an oath to first, do no harm. Some doctors are selling these prescriptions for profit. This is doing harm and it must be stopped.”

The bill joins a growing list of proposed federal and state legislation aimed at better utilizing PDMPs to combat the opioid epidemic. Michigan, Florida and Virginia have all introduced similar legislation within the last six months. And Indiana began integrating PDMP data into the EHR to fight the crisis, in August.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com