Norcross, Meehan Stress Importance of Interstate Drug Information Sharing
CAMDEN, NJ – At a news conference on the shore of the Delaware River, U.S. Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) stressed the importance of regional sharing of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) information with the goal of preventing opioid abuse.
After the Congressmen joined together in calling for expedited collaboration in a letter to their Governors on May 31, the two states announced they will begin sharing information on June 7. While the Congressmen commend this news, they continue calling on all of the states in the region to coordinate.
“Since someone can cross a bridge and cross state lines, we must cross party lines in Congress and in our states to curb the opioid epidemic,” said Congressman Norcross. “I’m glad the Governors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania heard our call, recognized the importance of acting quickly and announced they’ll be exchanging information. There’s still more work to do to take away all barriers, so I’ll continue working with colleagues to help those suffering from the disease of addiction.”
“Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs help doctors and pharmacists make safer, more informed decisions about the medications they prescribe and dispense,” said Congressman Meehan. “Information-sharing across state lines, particularly in a region like ours, is key to the program’s effectiveness. While there’s still more we can do to make PDMPs more effective, this is an important step forward that will undoubtedly save lives.”
Doctors at Kennedy University Hospital System in South Jersey alerted Congressman Norcross to the problem of regional information sharing during a visit on May 12, 2017. At the news conference, Dr. Jim Baird discussed abuse trends in his Emergency Department and explained why information sharing matters.
“This is a victory in the fight against the opioid crisis, and they don't come often, so it's a reason to celebrate and something to build off of,” said Dr. Jim Baird, Attending Physician in the Emergency Department at Kennedy Hospital. “I want to thank Congressman Norcross for his attention in this matter. This collaboration of prescription monitoring programs will save many patients’ lives in all these states, specifically here in South Jersey.”
Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director