Prescription drug monitoring program is new partnership between New York, New Jersey

The two states are sharing data about patients’ recent prescriptions.

New York is now in partnership with New Jersey to stop people from obtaining prescription drugs that can wind up abused or sold on the street and which may cause dangerous overdoses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday.

The two states are sharing “prescription monitoring program” data, which provides practitioners and pharmacists information about patients’ recent prescriptions for controlled substances. From April 14 — when New York began sharing data with New Jersey — through April 22, 16,000 records had been requested, with 12,000 of those requests coming from New York, according to Cuomo.

Efforts are underway for New York to share data with even more states to further curtail fraud and abuse involving prescription drugs, Cuomo said.

Cuomo’s announcement follows the unveiling of a new set of initiatives to reduce drug overdoses by Mayor Bill de Blasio. On April 21, de Blasio announced a series of municipal initiatives — accompanied by $5.5 million in funding — to combat the opioid epidemic.

Among the city’s new efforts will be increased distribution of life-saving naloxone (an antidote that reverses opioid overdose) and enhanced outreach and treatment programs.

About 10,000 people died of unintentional drug overdoses in NYC between 2000 and 2013, according to the NYC Department of Health.

Sheila Anne Feeney