Twenty-five states are now participating in the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy PMP InterConnect program, the NABP's prescription drug monitoring initiative.

Nevada, Idaho, and New Jersey are the latest state PMPs to go live and begin sharing data through InterConnect. Several other states have signed memorandums of understanding to participate and are working toward a connection to the system in 2014.

"With half of the states now sharing PMP data via this secure communication platform, authorized PMP users in those states are able to see a more complete history of patients' controlled substance prescriptions, helping health care providers identify possible misuse or abuse," the NABP said.

Sharing controlled substance prescription history information from state to state enables providers to make more informed prescribing and dispensing decisions, as they are able to access more complete patient data. For example, in fourth quarter 2013, the Virginia PMP – one of the three original states to participate in NABP InterConnect – received interstate prescription data on over 1,400 patients.

One benefit of sharing prescription drug data among neighboring states, the NABP said, is that it can help providers identify "doctor shopping," when patients visit multiple doctors to obtain controlled substance medications, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles and across state borders.

In addition, the Virginia PMP officials are looking forward to leveraging the use of NABP InterConnect to provide PMP data for authorized Virginia users via the Commonwealth's health information exchange. Such integration projects have been implemented successfully in Ohio and Indiana and bring PMP data directly into the provider's workflow.

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