By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new partnership between Pennsylvania and New Jersey now allows doctors and pharmacists to share prescription information. A press conference with local congressmen was held along the Camden waterfront Monday to emphasize the need to build bridges of communication in an effort to curtail the opioid epidemic.

Several bridges link Pennsylvania to New Jersey, and officials say this helps to enable opioid addicts to cross over to the neighboring state to reuse old prescriptions, or go doctor shopping. But now, a new drug-sharing program signed-off by both governors last week allows doctors and pharmacists to share information about prescriptions over state lines.

New Jersey Democratic Congressman Donald Norcross and Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Patrick Meehan say they hope it helps to identify addictions and they’re urging other states to join.

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“All the drugs are already tracked except for one area, and that’s the sharing,” Norcross said. “A database that each state already collects, but that river there could have been a 50 foot wall, because we weren’t sharing information.”

(credit: Kristen Johanson)


“It allows that doctor to check that record and determine if there’s a suspicion of abuse,” Meehan said. “It can make a huge difference, in allowing data to be the kind of pre-cursor that will enable doctors to have interventions with potential individuals who are abusing the opioids.”

They emphasized it’s a bi-partisan issue, and they need a bi-partisan effort, and they hope to link in neighboring states like Delaware, Maryland and New York.