Remarks From Governor Wolf’s Announcement of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (VIDEO)

August 26, 2016

Announcement of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Harrisburg, PA


Dean Jameson, thank you very much for the nice introduction, Secretary Murphy and Dr. Lauren Hughes, thank you for being here too.

This is a really important effort that we’re making here in Pennsylvania and this is a really important part of that, and I appreciate your allowing us to use Penn Medicine as a as a backdrop for this.

This is a really important place to make this point.

We have a big problem here in Pennsylvania. It’s an opioid problem.

There are too many people that died from drug overdose in Pennsylvania.

Just let me give you some examples, in 2014, 2,500 people died in Pennsylvania of drug overdoses -that’s how many people we know died.

Last year it was worse, I think 3,500, that’s almost ten everyday died of a drug overdose and this year, so far, it looks like it’s going to be worse.

We’ve got to do something about this. The problem is, as Dr. Jameson said, is that this affects everybody.

This is not a urban or rural thing, it affects everybody. It’s not Northeast Pennsylvania, Southwest Pennsylvania, it’s all over.

It affects men and women. Tt affects Republicans as well as Democrats.

We’ve got to do something about this.

Not too long ago I was with a friend of mine. I’ve known him for a long time. He is a professional man about my age, that is old okay, and he came up to me and gave me an envelope.

He said, I want you to read this, and I said, come on, we know each other well enough, you don’t have to give me letters, I mean, if you want something just ask me.

He said no, it’s not about that. He sat down and started crying. He said my daughter died just two weeks ago from a drug overdose.

That’s the problem we have in Pennsylvania. There is not a family that is unaffected by this epidemic, actually it’s a plague, not a family that doesn’t have someone, a neighbor, a friend, a family member or personally is suffering from this kind of a disease, this disease, substance use disorder, and we’ve got to do something about it.

And so what we’re trying to do at the state level is two things, we’re trying to give suffers more resources and more options. We’ve got to do that, and starting with eliminating the stigma of substance use disorder. Moving patients through the treatment options that are available and that should exist for every patient. Every patient has different needs.

The second thing we’re trying to do and to the point of what we’re talking about today is giving medical practitioners the resources, more resources for them to do what they want to do, and need to do, to make life right for their patients.

That’s simply what this is today.

ABC MAP is really a program that allows medical practitioners to see what their patients are being prescribed, and to make sure that what they’re doing is not at odds with that person’s health.

I notice there are some early, first-year medical students here, right?

At some point you hope you’re gonna take the Hippocratic oath, and you want to make life better for your patients. With this, we’re trying to do that, trying to help you do that so that you can look into this database and make sure that you’re not prescribing something that is at odds with the health of your patient.

This was started, actually, back in 1973 with schedule 2 drugs, it’s been expanded since 2014 in Pennsylvania and other states before that so that you can look into this and say okay.

I want to make sure that I’m not giving a drug that is going to interfere with something else that someone else is prescribing. It’s also going to give you the ability to see if maybe someone is taking too many of these things and is crying out for help.

It’s giving you tools that are going to make your life easier, make the life of your patients easier and I think that’s what you. That’s what you’re going to want, that’s what this school is going to teach you to want.

And I think that’s why you went into this profession.

So, we’re trying to help you with this.

It’s a registration program that doctors are signing up for, it has certain rules, but it basically comes back to the fundimental idea that doctors want to do what’s best for their patients, and that’s what we are trying to do at the state to help you do just that.

So let me introduce Secretary Karen Murphy to talk more about what we’re doing here with the with the ABC MAP program and what we hope to see as a result of this program.

Thank you.

Read the press release from the announcement.

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