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New Law Delays Checking Prescription Monitoring Program

Wednesday, June 19, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian Sparks
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Gov. Greg AbbottOn June 14, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3284 by Rep. J.D. Sheffield and Sen. Jane Nelson, which delays for six months (until March 1, 2020) the requirement for pharmacists and prescribers to check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) history before dispensing or prescribing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol.

The bill also establishes an advisory committee of five physicians, three pharmacists (one chain, one independent, one academic), an oral surgeon, a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, and two health information technology individuals to serve three-year terms and meet at least twice yearly. The advisory committee will make recommendations to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy regarding operational improvements to the PMP, resolutions to identified data concerns, methods to improve data accuracy, integrity, and security, and reducing technical difficulties.

What does this mean for pharmacists?

Pharmacists and prescribers are provided a six-month delay of the mandatory check of the PMP to allow time for the integration of the PMP NarxCare tool. NarxCare helps prescribers and pharmacists analyze real-time controlled substance data and provides patient risk scores. This is to help identify potential risk factors by which pharmacists’ and prescribers’ can make decisions on potential drug misuse or abuse, ultimately leading to improved patient safety. Pharmacists and prescribers are required to check the PMP to help eliminate duplicate and overprescribing of controlled substances, as well as to obtain critical controlled substance history information.

Effective Date: March 1, 2020 for checking the PMP; September 1, 2019 for advisory committee

TPA's online legislative wrapup offers a full list of which bills passed, which bills failed, and which bills TPA helped to defeat. It also provides effective dates and a detailed explanation of what the legislation means for pharmacy.


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