– The governor of Pennsylvania today signed into law a bill introduced by local state Rep. Ann Flood (R-Northampton) that will extend a successful program that helps doctors and pharmacists combat opioid abuse.
“This law will ensure doctors and pharmacists will continue to have access to this tool in the ongoing effort to reduce opioid abuse,” Flood said.
The initiative, known as the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) program, was set to expire on June 30, 2022. The new law will extend the expiration date to Dec. 31, 2028.
The ABC-MAP program allows doctors and other medication prescribers, as well as pharmacists and other medication dispensers, to access a patient’s prescription medication history through an electronic system. Doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals with access to the system can use the information to better treat their patients.
The program also enables opioid prescribers and dispensers to potentially identify warning signs of abuse, including so-called “doctor shopping” and “pharmacy shopping.”
“Doctor shopping” occurs when a patient attempts to obtain opioid prescriptions from multiple doctors. “Pharmacy shopping” occurs when a patient attempts to have an opioid prescription filled at multiple pharmacies.
The ABC-MAP program enables doctors and pharmacists to notice and prevent these practices by viewing a patient’s prescription medication history.
“This is an example of Republicans and Democrats working together to enact a commonsense law aimed at reducing opioid abuse,” Flood said. “I will continue working with my colleagues to identify bipartisan policies to combat the opioid epidemic.”
Flood’s legislation – previously House Bill 1774
and now Act 72 of 2021
– takes effect immediately. This is the first bill Flood has had signed into law since taking office in January.
More information about Flood is available on her website at RepAnnFlood.com
or by following her on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepAnnFlood