Prescription drug monitoring program in Maryland to link to other states

Doctors, pharmacists, and other health care professionals in Maryland will now be able to monitor patients' use of controlled prescription drugs not just in the state but also in Virginia.

Doctors, pharmacists, and other health care professionals in Maryland will now be able to monitor patients' use of controlled prescription drugs not just in the state but also in Virginia. Created by state law in 2011, Maryland's prescription drug monitoring program aims to stop doctor shopping for opioids and other drugs and also is seen as a tool to help fight the drug overdose epidemic. The program was limited to prescriptions filled in the state; however, now clinicians who use the drug monitoring database will be able to see data from Virginia, and eventually that will expand to other states as well. "The expansion of [the program's] data access to other states' information will strengthen providers' ability to identify patients whose prescription drug use presents a serious risk of addiction or overdose," said Van T. Mitchell, secretary of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.