Now there’s an app to shame pain patients and drug addicts

New Jersey this week became the first U.S. state to launch its own prescription monitoring app so physicians and pharmacists can identify patients or others who might be “doctor shopping” to collect large amounts of medications.

The free app for Apple smartphone and handheld device collects detailed information on prescriptions filled in New Jersey for controlled dangerous substances (CDS) – the category of drugs that includes potentially addictive opiate painkillers – and HGH, state officials said.

(Android and Windows Mobile versions will be available this summer.)

The app is part of New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program, maintained by the state Division of Consumer Affairs.  “We’re working hard to expand the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program and this new app is the latest in an ongoing series of upgrades to the NJPMP since we launched it in late 2011,” Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman said…

Somehow, it doesn’t seem odd to law enforcement and the AG’s office that they’re now part of the health care industry.

To encourage participation, the DCA grants automatic enrollment to all New Jersey doctors who successfully applied for the renewal of their state-granted authority to prescribe medications. The division also launched an outreach campaign, sending staff to hospitals to meet with doctors and explain the NJPMP program to them.

Last year, the division expanded the NJPMP to include direct data-sharing with the PMPs maintained by Connecticut and Delaware, and began efforts to build a similar data-sharing partnership with New York State.

Pretty soon, states and law enforcement will include medical cannabis in the PDMPs, and will start monitoring who joins medical cannabis programs — you know, to stop diversion.

Just so we’re clear, the only thing PDMPs really do is keep people from seeking health care, instead forcing them into the underground drug market to treat their medical conditions.

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