Nationwide prescription safety alert system proposed by House bill

Legislation creating a nationwide Prescription Safety Alert System, designed to better protect patients at risk of opioid overuse, was introduced in the House of Representatives on August 30.

Legislation creating a nationwide Prescription Safety Alert System, designed to better protect patients at risk of opioid overuse, was introduced in the House of Representatives on August 30. The Analyzing and Leveraging Existing Rx Transactions (ALERT) Act would mandate HHS to work with the private sector on a system that can analyze data from payers and pharmacists to protect patients from opioid abuse. Pharmacists would obtain the data right in the workflow, including capturing transactions from across state lines and any unsuccessful opioid fill attempts. "By giving pharmacists, insurance companies, and programs like Medicare a new tool to understand the data they already have, we can help prevent further harm," said Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ). The system would also alert the pharmacist to patients who may be doctor-shopping, said MacArthur. "Instead of filling that unnecessary prescription, pharmacists will have an extra tool to detect and prevent these dangers."