New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program
The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) is an online system that contains data on every prescription dispensed for a controlled substance or human growth hormone (HGH) in New Jersey1 and seven other states. Prescriptions written and dispensed in Pennsylvania, however, are not included and are a blind spot that prescribers should be aware of when evaluating a member’s prescription history.
Within 24 hours, information on the dispensing of a controlled substance or HGH (whether paid for by cash or through insurance) must be uploaded to the NJPMP site. Prescribers and pharmacists can check the NJPMP before writing/dispensing a prescription for a controlled substance to ensure that their patients are appropriately managed and not visiting multiple prescribers for the same medications.
By using the NJPMP, prescribers and pharmacists can identify patients who are visiting multiple physicians to obtain multiple prescriptions for similar medications, and verify treatment plans when inconsistencies are noted.
When prescribers, their delegates or pharmacists identify a patient with a potential drug use issue, they are required to notify the claimant’s case manager.
A prescriber, or his or her delegate, is required by law to check the NJPMP:
- The first time a practitioner prescribes a Schedule II controlled substance to a new or current patient for acute or chronic pain AND
- At least every three months during the period of time a current patient continues to receive a prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance for acute or chronic pain.
Below are some patient behaviors and patterns to look for when reviewing the NJPMP data:
- Individuals who have multiple prescribers in different practices for painkillers.
- Prescriptions from different prescribers are filled by different pharmacies.
- A history of cash-only claims for controlled substances when a patient has insurance.
- Frequent early fill attempts.
- Visiting prescribers, including dentists, in acute care settings for frequent smaller fills.
- Visiting physicians or pharmacies across state lines or far from their hometown or place of work.
- Individual asks for a specific pain medication or for gabapentin or clonidine in combination with drugs more commonly abused.
- Individual refuses to see a Primary Care Physician.
- Individual reports that the medication was lost.
Resources for patients with addiction:
- ReachNJ 1-844-ReachNJ (732-2465)
- New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services 1-609-292-5760
- New Jersey Division of Addiction Services Suspicious Report Form
- Consumers can learn the best ways to dispose of unused medications, and to safely keep medications in their homes, at the Project Medicine Drop website.