New Jersey seeks to expand opioid prescription monitoring to veterinarians
New guidelines in New Jersey aim to prevent human abuse of medications prescribed to pets. The guidelines call on veterinarians who prescribe opioids to use the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program.
New guidelines in New Jersey aim to prevent human abuse of medications prescribed to pets. The guidelines call on veterinarians who prescribe opioids to use the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program. Under the program, physicians must consult with the database when prescribing opioids, and pharmacies must report prescription data that is shared with more than a dozen other states. Veterinarians are not required to check the database but are encouraged to participate voluntarily. According to Attorney General Christopher Porrino, the state "is trying to "limit the ways in which these very addictive drugs get into the hands of people who don't truly need them. One of the roads that has remained open under the law as it currently exists in New Jersey is through veterinarians." Richard Alampi, executive director of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, notes that several members have expressed concern about suspected abuse of pain medication by pet owners. Thus far, the attorney general's office has not filed criminal or civil charges against pet owners or vets for prescription opioid abuse; however, Porrino notes state officials are looking at "several" vets for possible overprescription of opioid analgesics. "Veterinarians can, and with some frequency do, prescribe opioid [analgesics] like hydrocodone," he said. "It is prevalent enough that we thought it was worth our time and attention to shut this pathway down."