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For Immediate Release
July 30, 2010
Contact: Crady deGolian
(859) 244-8068

Prescription Drug Monitoring Compact Nears Completion

LEXINGTON, Ky.—A legislation drafting committee is putting the final touches on a proposal for an interstate compact that would allow prescription drug monitoring programs from different states to share data.
Kansas Senate Assistant Majority Leader Vicki Schmidt said misuse of prescription drugs is an epidemic more lethal than crack cocaine or heroin abuse. Schmidt, a pharmacist in Kansas, is chair of the national advisory panel considering the compact. The panel recommended the compact in January.
“I think it’s a great example of how we can all work together to come up with a solution to a very complex problem,” Schmidt said Wednesday.
Forty states have some sort of prescription drug monitoring program; 33 of them are operational, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. But individual state programs do not address the ability to monitor the movement of prescription drugs across state lines, according to Schmidt.
That’s where the interstate compact would play a role. “I believe the development of a monitoring compact will improve interstate cooperation on the issue and dramatically reduce the epidemic of prescription drug abuse,” Schmidt said.
The drafting team is working to complete the compact draft, with comment, by early fall, and begin education outreach, what Schmidt calls “the most important piece of this project.” The goal is to have the compact complete and ready for consideration in advance of the 2011 state legislative sessions, according to Schmidt.
While the compact would provide a secure and authorized way to exchange prescription drug monitoring program data among member states, it would not mandate how member states operate their individual programs. The compact would establish consistent policies among member states to minimize cost of nationwide data sharing and establish security requirements for the shared use and exchange of data.
The Council of State Governments served as a neutral convener for the exploration of establishing an interstate compact among states with prescription drug monitoring programs.
“This project has been another example of how states can work cooperatively to address difficult policy challenges by creating meaningful and long-lasting change,” said Crady deGolian, a senior policy analyst who works with interstate compacts at CSG.

CSG remains committed to assisting the advisory committee and drafting team throughout the adoption period by providing educational materials, state support and testimony before legislative committees as needed.
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.