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The state of Florida is partnering with the Military Health System to share prescription drug data to help providers in the state combat the risk of prescription drug misuse and abuse among the military population.

Through the partnership, the MHS prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) began sharing the prescription drug data and analytics with 39 databases throughout the U.S., with the goal of enabling data-sharing among all 54 PDMPs across the country.

Florida has the fifth largest population of active and reserve members of the military in the nation, currently numbering more than 92,000, according to state officials. Healthcare providers in Florida now have access to controlled substance prescription data from military health providers and facilities.

"It’s vitally important for clinicians and other personnel to have a complete picture of prescribing information for servicemen and women to help combat the potential risk of prescription drug misuse and addiction,” said Florida legislator Rep. Cary Pigman.

Pigman, an emergency medicine physician and a physician in the Army Reserve, co-sponsored Florida House Bill-375, which made the change to the prescription drug monitoring program statutes to authorize the Florida Department of Health to share PDMP data with the MHS. The new law went into effect on July 1.

There are more than 100,000 healthcare providers in Florida using the Florida PDMP, known as E-FORCSE (Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substance Evaluation Program).

"The ability to search the Military Health System PDMP will help protect and save more lives," Pigman said.

Technology company Appriss Health is the provider of Florida's PDMP and partnered with pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts to create and support the MHS prescription drug monitoring database.

Community-based prescribers at clinics, hospitals, and local pharmacies can search these prescription drug databases to determine whether a Schedule II-V medication, such as a prescription opioid, was prescribed to their patient by another prescriber, including one at a military facility, according to a press release.

Up until now, the Military Health System was able to share patients' prescription data from community and retail pharmacies with state PDMPs but not from military health facility pharmacies due to challenges with different data reporting requirements in each state.

By collaborating with Appriss Health, Express Scripts and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the MHS can now share patients' prescription information from military health facility pharmacies as well.

More effective sharing of prescription drug information between military and non-military providers will help to address and treat substance use disorder for servicemen and women and their families,” said Rob Cohen, President of Appriss Health.

“This new connection helps civilian clinicians make more informed decisions before prescribing an opioid and ultimately a measurable, positive impact on the opioid crisis.”

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