State's Health Council Strengthens Prescription Monitoring

The Massachusetts Public Health Council unanimously passed expanded regulations Wednesday that further address the growing problem of opioid drug addiction in the state.

Alice Bonner, of the Department of Public Health, says the amendments strengthen the state's prescription monitoring program.

"The amendments today were an enhancement of our program so that going forward, we will be collecting information on more of these potentially dangerous drugs," she said.

Bonner says clinicians and pharmacists will now be required to move to an online reporting system that will better track whether a patient has received multiple prescriptions for controlled medications.

"We clearly have a major epidemic of drug misuse and abuse and overdose deaths and this is a huge opportunity to reducing the morbidity and mortality from this problem," Bonner said.

The changes will take effect in January.

This program aired on August 11, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.