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Department of Health claims success with Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health is celebrating success with its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.  The program is designed to help prevent prescription drug abuse, by collecting information on prescriptions filled in the community, then using that data to adjust the care provided by healthcare professionals.

"It takes less than 60 seconds to access the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program," said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy.  "Physicians and healthcare professionals are very concerned about this crisis, so they are obviously using this as a tool to help those, and identify those, in need."

According to the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance, overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have quadrupled since 1999.

Thursday, Governor Tom Wolf praised bipartisanship in the State House, saying it allowed a package of bills to pass that will strengthen the state's fight against opioid addiction.  That package strongly focuses on medical facilities, establishing tighter restrictions on opioid prescriptions.  The bills also establish safe prescribing curriculums in medical training facilities, and allow all government and medical agencies to serve as drop-off locations for unwanted prescription drugs.