Pharmacists ask Texas for 'flexibility' on prescription monitoring program deadline

Pharmacists are asking Texas lawmakers to extend the deadline to implement the state's Prescription Monitoring Program. Pharmacists and prescribers will be required to integrate into the Prescription Monitoring Program by September 1, 2019. However, industry representatives told lawmakers they do not think they will be ready.

Pharmacists are asking Texas lawmakers to extend the deadline to implement the state's Prescription Monitoring Program. Pharmacists and prescribers will be required to integrate into the Prescription Monitoring Program by September 1, 2019. However, industry representatives told lawmakers they do not think they will be ready. "Build in some flexibility into the timeline to allow for more system integration, I think there would be benefit in that," Walgreens senior manager of professional affairs Thompson George requested to the legislators in a hearing of the Interim Joint Committee on Prescribing & Dispensing Controlled Substances. Allison Benz, Texas Board of Pharmacy executive director, noted the program's deadline has received some pushback. "People do not think that the systems will be ready to handle that," she said after the hearing. "We are asking for the legislature to fund some enhancements to the program that would allow for integration into the system which would allow it to automatically collect the data," she said. "We're continuing to register users, getting people to sign on to get their accounts so they're ready to access the program when they have to in September 2019," Benz said.