Lawmakers Consider Real-Time Prescription Drug Monitoring Essential

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Prescription Drug Monitoring System

VirtualHealth Technologies, the creators of Veriscrip, the Nation's first real-time system for tracking controlled substances announced today its support for recent initiatives in states like Wyoming and Florida that are realizing the need for upgrading their existing systems.

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On December 26th, Congressman Colin Simpson, R-Cody announced his intention to look into the preparation of a Bill that would upgrade Wyoming's existing Prescription Drug Monitoring System to Real-time. The Wyoming Board of Pharmacy has a prescription drug monitoring program that began in 2004. There are 540,000 prescriptions collected each year and presently data is collected only once a month.

"In no way is it a real-time database when there is a 30-day lag," said Simpson, "Our first priority is to ensure people are legally using controlled substances." Updating the system each week would be an improvement, but several people said a real-time system is the best option. "From my perspective I'm pushing real-time," Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric said. "If not real-time now, then it will be real-time in five years and there will be 10 times the problem." "The more I think about it, the more real-time and electronic prescriptions would help," Dr. Michael Codiga added.

Earlier this month, state officials in Florida announced that they will launch a high-profile campaign for a statewide computer database to log every prescription for controlled substances. If the state Legislature rejects the idea as they have previously, database advocates said they will push to set up an experimental system in Broward and perhaps Palm Beach counties. A parallel initiative this year in Florida by the Legislature has been urging the use of e-prescribing by physicians. According to Bill Janes, Florida's Drug Czar, "In five to 10 years, this will be probably be a way that doctor shopping can be prevented, I can't wait five years. We need the database." This campaign was first announced at the National Conference on State Prescription Monitoring Programs in Washington, DC hosted by the National Alliance on Model State Drug Laws where Veriscrip participated.

Jim Renfro, President of VirtualHealth Technologies, Inc. stated that "The fact that these two state initiatives are supporting both real-time data and the use of e-prescribing as the basis for fighting prescription drug diversion only supports what we have said all along. In order to stop drug diversion and fraud you must have a real-time system in place that begins electronically tracking the prescriptions from their inception. That was our foundation in the development of our system originally and we believe it to be the benchmark that any effective prescription monitoring system will need to follow in the future."

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