In an opinion piece for The Hill's "Congress Blog," Peter Carmel -- president of the American Medical Association -- writes that a nationwide electronic prescription drug tracking initiative could help curb drug misuse.
Carmel writes that the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting bill was signed into law in 2005 to help states create prescription drug monitoring programs, or PDMPs. However, Carmel notes that the 2005 NASPER program "was never fully funded and never realized its full potential."
He calls for lawmakers to pass the 2011 NASPER bill (HR 866) to "establish and modernize existing PDMPs so that states can ensure interstate interoperability and real-time access for prescribers at the point of care."
He adds that AMA "support[s] efforts to harness health information technology capabilities that could make PMDP data available to physicians as part of the normal workflow of their office and emergency departments."
Carmel writes, "When properly constructed and operated, PDMPs have proven extremely effective in fighting diversion while ensuring that individuals in need of treatment for pain and suffering receive care" (Carmel, "Congress Blog," The Hill, 4/4).