White House Includes HITN Opioid Safety Alliance Priorities in Outline of New Initiatives to Combat Opioid Misuse

WASHINGTON, DC (March 19, 2018): In an important win for patients, prescribers, and pharmacists, President Trump’s newly announced opioid plan upholds key goals of Health IT Now’s Opioid Safety Alliance.

The proposal, outlined by President Trump in a New Hampshire speech earlier today, appears to include support for a nationwide, interoperable Prescription Drug Monitoring Program network much like the prescription safety alert system – also referred to as a “facilitator model for patient safety” – championed by HITN’s Opioid Safety Alliance and its broad membership of stakeholders. 

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement: 

“Instead of tinkering around the edges with tweaks to our existing PDMP system, the White House’s opioid plan looks to be taking a bolder stance: embracing our proposal for a new, nationwide, interoperable prescription safety alert system that complements the role of PDMPs while addressing troubling blindspots in the current system to deliver real-time information to clinicians at the point of care,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White. “By heeding Health IT Now’s calls for a facilitator model based on National Council of Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) standards, this plan can empower clinicians with the tools to stop fraudulent controlled prescriptions before they reach the patient’s hands and to ultimately save more lives from the ravages of opioid misuse. We thank President Trump for recognizing the promise of this breakthrough solution and look forward to our continued work with the administration, Congress, and others to get this plan across the finish line.” 

Launched in January 2018, Health IT Now’s Opioid Safety Alliance has championed a multipronged, technology-enabled strategy to identify and treat opioid misuse, led by a nationwide, interoperable prescription safety alert system – based on National Council of Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) standards – that would be run by the private sector under contract with HHS. Such a system would complement PDMPs by connecting real-time clinical data at the point of care – prescribing or dispensing; providing a missing tool to crack down on doctor and pharmacy-shopping, cash transactions and prescriptions filled across state lines that have long gone unnoticed.

Members of the Opioid Safety Alliance include: the Association of Behavioral Health and Wellness, Brain Injury Association of America, Centerstone, Chapman University School of Pharmacy, CoverMyMeds, eRx Network, IBM, Intermountain Healthcare, The Kennedy Forum, McKesson, MedStar Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, Netsmart, OCHIN, Oracle, RelayHealth, and Walgreens.

To learn more about the Opioid Safety Alliance and its proposed prescription safety alert system, click here