Washington State House Democrats


Rep. Peterson Rx monitoring program bill heads to Senate

OLYMPIA – Today the House passed one of Rep. Strom Peterson’s (D – Edmonds) bills to combat the rising opioid and heroin abuse epidemic in Washington.

Peterson’s bill (HB 2730) would expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which is an online system managed by the Department of Health to keep track of how many prescriptions are dispensed in Washington and what type of medication they are.

The information in this system is accessible to medical practitioners, who can use it to watch for signs of abuse by their patients, like patients to shop around for the same prescriptions from multiple providers.

The problem is, the registration process for prescribers is lengthy, which has resulted in only 30 percent of Washington residents with prescriptions are actively using it.

“The more knowledge we have on opioid prescriptions in this state, the better we can fight off the abuse epidemic that is attacking our communities,” Peterson said. “In 2014 alone, there were 6,232,532 opioid prescriptions dispensed in the state. These rates call for all-hands-on-deck to fight this epidemic. We need all the tools and insight we can get.”

Peterson’s bill would allow healthcare facilities to sign up as an entity, allowing the prescribers employed there to use the system without each of them having to go through the registration process separately. This change will make it easier for Washington prescribers to access useful data on opioid prescriptions.

HB 2730 now goes to the Senate for consideration.