NJ Prescription Monitoring Program Updated for Prescribers and Pharmacists

The New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP), aimed at halting the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs, was substantially updated recently to impose new requirements on prescribers of Schedule II drugs and, separately, to stiffen penalties for pharmacists failing to timely report information about dispensing of the controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”).

On July 18, 2015, New Jersey enacted a bill that made substantial changes to NJPMP that imposes new requirements on prescribers of Schedule II drugs. Prescribers will now be required to review prescription monitoring information when they prescribe a Schedule II medication to a new or current patient for acute or chronic pain, the first time they prescribe and quarterly thereafter. The new law also expands the types of licensed professionals who are authorized to access the NJPMP for patient data (e.g., Medical Examiners, medical and dental residents, medical assistants, and mental health practitioners).

Pursuant to these new requirements, prescribing providers with CDS Registration will now need to register to access NJPMP prior to the upcoming renewal of their CDS Registration.

Most of the provisions of the new law become effective November 1, 2015.

Other changes to NJPMP made earlier in the year include changing reporting requirements for pharmacists.

Beginning on September 1, 2015, fines from NJPMP and other enforcement action from the New Jersey Board of Pharmacists may be taken for failure by pharmacists to timely report information about dispensing of a controlled dangerous substance.

The new requirement imposes an obligation on pharmacists to report information to the NJPMP no more than one business day after the date the controlled substance was dispensed. The requirement went into effect on March 1, 2015 but its enforcement was delayed until September 1, to allow pharmacies and software vendors to make necessary software changes to comply with the rule. Non compliance subjects pharmacy permit holder to penalties from NJPMP and the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy.

If you have questions about the NJ PMP laws or reporting requirements or if you are a subject of enforcement action by the New Jersey Board of Pharmacists or the Division of Consumer Affairs, please contact our office here.