WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $386,793 has been awarded to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy through a grant program that provides financial and technical assistance to improve prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). PDMPs are electronic databases which help the medical and law enforcement community collect and track the use or misuse of controlled prescription drugs. The federal funds being awarded are disbursed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to help Ohio administer the multi-state PMIX hub, which helps prevent and detect the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances.
"Prescription drug abuse harms families, stifles productivity, and strains local budgets," Brown said. "These funds will help Ohio's medical and law enforcement community communicate and coordinate with other states to monitor controlled substances and keep Ohio patients safe."
The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy will use the enhancement grant funds to administer the multi-state PMIX hub. The PMIX hub facilitates PDMP data transmission for multiple states including exchanges between Kentucky and Ohio.
This grant will help fund the PMIX hub expansion so that at least five states are able to access out-of-state PDMP data and support for the Ohio PDMP by paying maintenance fees on software and databases.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. Last month, Brown held a roundtable discussion in Chillicothe to discuss increasing rates of prescription drug abuse and ongoing efforts to combat illegal drug diversion and fraud in southeast Ohio.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, admissions to publicly-funded treatment for heroin and other opiates - including prescription painkillers - have steadily increased the past decade from 4.4 percent of all clients in treatment in 1999 to 15.5 percent in 2009.
In 2007, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes and suicide for the first time on record. Prescription pain medications, such as oxycodone, morphine, and methadone are largely responsible for increasing numbers of overdoses and deaths in Ohio.