Effective Communication Critical in the Opioid Crisis

MACo Legislative Fellow Zach Hands testified in support of Senate Bill 1083, “Public Health – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – Revisions”, before the Senate Finance Committee on March 20, 2018.

This bill would require, as opposed to authorize, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to review and identify possible abuse and misuse of the prescription drug to the prescriber or dispenser. Also, the PDMP would be required to report potential misconduct by the prescribers and provide the proper parties with all relevant information.

MACo offered an amendment that would include local health departments in the list of parties to receive PDMP data. Local health departments are on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic and effective communication between LHDs, the PDMP, and providers is essential.

From MACo Testimony:

Counties believe the PDMP can be further improved by expanding PDMP access to County Health Officers and the Health Commissioner for Baltimore City. These officers play a significant role in addressing the opioid crisis in each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Access to PDMP data would enable them to share vital information and best practices with identified prescribers, and increase awareness and improve intervention efforts in cases of patients who may be doctor shopping.”

For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.