State Gets $340,298 Grant from U.S. Department of Justice To Monitor Prescription Drugs
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, is pleased to announce that the State of Nevada Department of Public Safety has been awarded $340,298 by the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance to support the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
The grant program provides financial assistance to states that want to create, enhance or plan a Prescription Monitoring Program. Prescription monitoring programs are systems where controlled substance dispensing data is submitted to a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. These programs are designed to help prevent and detect the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, particularly at the retail level where no other automated information collection system exists.
Nevada's award is part of $10 million appropriated by Congress in Federal Fiscal Year 2005 for the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. In 2002, Congress initially allocated $2 million for the Program, and Nevada was one of nine states to receive a grant award that year. The monies were used to enhance Nevada's existing prescription monitoring program, which began in 1997 when the State of Nevada legislature enacted laws requiring a prescription monitoring program and authorizing the State to collect controlled substance prescription data through the Prescription Controlled Substances Abuse Prevention Task Force. The Task Force is responsible for the intervention, treatment, and/or prosecution of prescription drug abusers.
Prescription monitoring programs are being used to deter and identify many types of illegal activity including prescription forgery, indiscriminate prescribing and "doctor shopping" - which is a felony in some states. Most programs provide patient specific drug information upon request of the patient's physician or pharmacist. Some state programs pro-actively notify physicians when their patients are seeing multiple prescribers for the same class of drugs. This assists health care professionals in enhancing patient care by allowing them to intervene on the patient's behalf and assist them in obtaining appropriate treatment. It has been an extremely successful program to thwart diversion in a number of states. More information on the program is available at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/faq/rx_monitor.htm.