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NJ Consumer Affairs launches first app in U.S. to monitor prescription drug purchases

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: New Jersey this week became the first U.S. state to launch its own prescription monitoring app so physicians and pharmacists can identify patients or others who might be “doctor shopping” to collect large amounts of medications.

The free app for Apple smartphone and handheld device collects detailed information on prescriptions filled in New Jersey for controlled dangerous substances (CDS) – the category of drugs that includes potentially addictive opiate painkillers – and HGH, state officials said.


(Android and Windows Mobile versions will be available this summer.)

The app is part of New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program, maintained by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

“We’re working hard to expand the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program and this new app is the latest in an ongoing series of upgrades to the NJPMP since we launched it in late 2011,” Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “The more user-friendly we make the NJPMP, the more prescribers and pharmacists will use it. Their participation is of critical importance as we collectively work to address prescription drug abuse.”

As of April 9, 2015, 88.4% of the state’s 29,400 licensed doctors had registered to use the NJPMP database. About 169,000 user requests were submitted to the NJPMP during the preceding 30-day period.

“We’re fostering increased use of the NJPMP. The abuse of prescription drugs is a national issue that we in New Jersey are addressing on multiple fronts,” said Steve Lee, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “The ongoing increase in NJPMP registration is welcomed but we strive for even greater participation among prescribers and pharmacists.”

To encourage participation, the DCA grants automatic enrollment to all New Jersey doctors who successfully applied for the renewal of their state-granted authority to prescribe medications.

The division also launched an outreach campaign, sending staff to hospitals to meet with doctors and explain the NJPMP program to them.

Last year, the division expanded the NJPMP to include direct data-sharing with the PMPs maintained by Connecticut and Delaware, and began efforts to build a similar data-sharing partnership with New York State.

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