Washington, DC – Eric M. Goldberg, Mid-Atlantic region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), recently testified in support of B20-127, the “Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act of 2013,” before the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Health. AIA, whose members write approximately one-third of the nation’s workers’ compensation coverage, supports the adoption of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) as a means to help curb abuse.
“AIA applauds Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) for introducing this long-overdue legislation,” said Goldberg. “The District of Columbia remains one of the last jurisdictions without a functional PDMP.”
B20-127 includes many of the provisions necessary for a well-designed PDMP, including: real-time reporting of data; proactive notification authority on questionable transactions; broad coverage of all FDA-Scheduled drugs included in Schedules II-V of the Controlled Substances Act, and; interstate operability.
“The collective provisions contained in this bill represent a significant step forward for the District,” said Goldberg. “However, AIA believes that the new program should be made even stronger and more effective with a few amendments.”
Specifically, physicians’ use of the database should be mandated when writing a prescription. In addition, the current bill would establish the District’s PDMP within the Department of Health. AIA recommends that, based on experience in other states, the program be operated by the Office of the Attorney General as PDMPs operated by law enforcement agencies are more effective in preventing misuse and criminal diversion of controlled substances.
“AIA stands ready to assist the City Council and looks forward to passage and implementation of this bill,” concluded Goldberg.