On October 27, 2014, Pennsylvania passed the Achieving Better Care By Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Act. This Act is intended to increase the quality of patient care by giving prescribers and dispensers access to a patient’s prescription medication history through an electronic system that will alert medical professionals to potential dangers for purposes of making treatment determinations.
The Act also seeks to aid regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the detection and prevention of fraud, drug abuse, and the criminal diversion of controlled substances. The Act will permit individuals employed by prescribers, pharmacies and dispensers to query an electronic database to identify prescription drugs given to a particular individual. The Act will aid prescribers in identifying at-risk individuals and referring them to drug addiction treatment professionals and programs and will establish professionally developed criteria, with the advice of the Advisory Group that generates referrals of prescription monitoring information to the appropriate licensing board in the Department of State. A referral may only be generated when the system produces an alert that there is a pattern of irregular data for a dispenser or prescriber which appears to deviate from the clinical standard. The Act also calls for criminal penalties for knowingly or intentionally obtaining or attempting to obtain information from the system for purposes other than those specified in the Act. The Act also allows prescribers to designate employees for purposes of accessing the system according to standards established by the Board. In assigning a designee, a prescriber should give preference to a professional nurse licensed by the State Board of Nursing. This Act will affect nurses, doctors, and pharmacists. This legislation places the program under the Department of Health and gives prescribers and dispensers access to consumers’ prescription history. It also expands the program’s reach to track Schedule 2 through Schedule 5 drugs, which would include Vicodin, Xanax, and Robitussin with Codeine among many others. Most Sections of The Act go into effect June 30, 2015.