WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) — There’s a push among three local members of Congress to get their states on board with sharing information on what prescriptions doctors are writing for highly addictive opioids.
The Tri-State is part of a program that allows doctors to check for similar prescriptions their patients might be getting from other physicians.
New Jersey only shares with Delaware and neither shares with Pennsylvania.
So, South Jersey Democrat Don Norcross joined with Southeastern Pennsylvania Republican Pat Meehan and Delaware Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester, all urging their Governors to work on a cooperative level.
Norcross suggests it is way too easy for addicts to play the current system.
“They could pick up a prescription here in New Jersey to go across the bridge and do it immediately again,” Norcross told KYW Newsradio. “It’s that prescription shopping that’s going on and this program will prevent that from happening.”
Norcross likens this is a life and death struggle that must be confronted, and the sooner the better.
“We don’t have the luxury of time here. This is literally preventing deaths,” Norcross added. “And that’s why the three of us worked together to make sure that we’re addressing this issue as best we can.”
Some 15,000 people died last year from prescription drug abuse in this country and Norcross points to evidence suggesting many heroin addicts get started on opioids they got from their physician.