Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday announced the launch of a new Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) designed to log and analyze every prescription for opioids and other controlled substances dispensed anywhere in the state.
The new web-based computer program is Pennsylvania’s latest tool in the battle to lower the body count of prescription drug overdose deaths that has become the state’s most pressing health challenge.
Wolf made the announcement at a press conference in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine where he was accompanied by Secretary of Health Karen Murphy, RN, PhD, and Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Lauren Hughes, MD, MPH.
All three emphasized the severity of the state’s prescription opioid overdose crisis, noting that 3,500 Pennsylvanians are dying annually and that number continues to rise. Hughes, who oversees the new PDMP program called the situation “the worst public health crisis Pennsylvania has experienced in recent history.”