Online Prescription Monitoring Program Launched in Texas

The state Department of Public Safety announced the initiative Aug. 2.

As requested by state legislators, the Texas Department of Public Safety has launched an online prescription monitoring program, called Prescription Access in Texas (PAT), so authorized health care and law enforcement professionals can monitor controlled substance prescription dispensing. PAT itself was piloted in 2011 and has been in existence since June 2012 for use by a select group of practitioners, pharmacists, and law enforcement personnel; DPS said the online version expands its availability to more physicians and law enforcement, mid-level practitioners, and medical board and nursing board investigators.

"Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem, and the new online prescription drug monitoring program will help the state of Texas combat this issue," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "It is essential that doctors and pharmacists have quick access to the information they need to identify potential prescription drug abusers and traffickers before they fraudulently receive the drugs. Law enforcement access to this information is also crucial to investigating those individuals or organizations engaged in the trafficking of prescription drugs. This new tool will allow a proactive approach to prevention, assist with criminal investigations, provide historical reporting and identify trends.”"

Each registered user of PAT must provide licensing information. The database includes Schedule II through Schedule V drugs for the last 12 months only; pharmacists must report prescription data within seven days of filling the prescription.

"I have supported the enhancement of the prescription drug monitoring program, including legislation I passed that changed Texas law to significantly expand the types of prescription drugs being monitored by DPS today," said State Sen. Tommy Williams, who represents a district near Houston. "I am proud Texas has brought this critical database online so our health care professionals and investigators can quickly and easily identify potential prescription drug abuse, patients who are doctor-shopping, forging prescriptions, and physicians who are illicitly prescribing drugs."

For more information about PAT, visit this website.

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