Opiates

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New Hampshire officials call it a public health epidemic: record numbers of Granite Staters are overdosing and dying because of opioid drugs, especially heroin.   We’ll find out how this problem grew so quickly, and the state’s responses to it, including a relatively new prescription drug monitoring program.

GUESTS:

The Executive Council has picked an Alabama company to begin collecting data that will help physicians and pharmacists identify patients who may be abusing prescription medications.

The five-year contract awarded to Health Information Designs is the next step in the state’s effort to set up a prescription drug monitoring program, or PMP. Such programs are aimed at “doctor shopping,” in which patients visit multiple physicians for prescriptions that are then filled at different pharmacies.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan will join most of the other New England governors at a conference to map out a regional response to the growing problem of opiate drug abuse.

Hassan will attend Tuesday's meeting at Brandeis University in Waltham hosted by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Only Maine Gov. Paul LePage is not expected to attend.