Prescription Monitoring Program

LFDA Editor

SB 286, proposed in January 2012 by Wolfeboro Republican Sen. Jeb Bradley, was signed by Gov. Lynch June 11, 2012.  The bill established a controlled drug prescription monitoring program funded entirely through "grants, gifts, or user contributions." The program officially launched October 16, 2014.

Prescription drug abuse has become the front line for the "war on drugs" in New Hampshire.

HB 1636, a 2010 measure to stop people from "doctor shopping" in the hunt for addictive prescription drugs, noted that "New Hampshire has seen a 200 percent increase in deaths in the last 10 years from these drugs, primarily Methadone, with prescription drug abuse being the fastest growing form of substance abuse."

But efforts to create the electronic tracking system in New Hampshire failed in 2005, 2007, and 2010, leaving the Granite State as the only state in New England without the ability to track these drugs.

Assistant Attorney General Philip Bradley told Foster's Daily Democrat: "No one is really able to intervene early now because they don't have that information. A prescription monitoring program lets a doctor know that patient is getting their drugs elsewhere and the prescription he's about to write may be a few too many."

In addition to giving health providers access to the information, the legislation allowed access by law enforcement to the information.

The law enforcement piece, in addition to the cost -- estimated at $2.2 to $3.5 million -- caused concern during committee hearings on the measure.

"It needs to be more of a public health tool than a law enforcement tool," Bradley said to Foster's.

SB 286, the bill passed in 2012, still allows for law enforcement access to the information, although only on a case-by-case basis.  Additionally, patient information will be deleted from the database every six months, with the exception of information about patients suspected to be abusing drugs.

The cost issue was addressed in the bill as follows: "All costs incurred by the board for the implementation and operation of the program shall be supported through grants, gifts, or user contributions."  In the event that there is not enough funding for the program, the bill allows the pharmacy board to "curtail, temporarily suspend, or cancel the program."

In September 2013 the state Board of Pharmacy received a $400,000 federal grant to build a prescription monitoring database and operate the program for two years.  The prescription monitoring program officially launched October 16, 2014.  As of now, there is now plan for funding the program after two years, although an advisory council is considering fee structures for medical providers and/or pharmaceutical manufacturers.


"For" Position

"Against" Position


In Committee

Establishes a committee to study opioid misuse

Killed in the House

Requires pharmacies, hospitals, and prescribers to accept unused prescription drugs

Signed by Governor

Increases access to overdose-reversing drugs such as Narcan by allowing doctors to pescribe to friends, family members of addicts

In Committee

Requires an injured worker and his or her health care provider to enter into an opioid treatment agreement outlining the procedures for opioid use under workers’ compensation

Signed by Governor

Establishing a prescription drug monitoring program funded entirely through "grants, gifts, or user contributions"

Killed in the House

Establishing a prescription drug monitoring program, using public funds

Should NH continue the Prescription Monitoring Program?


Add a comment
Add a comment


BrianDunn's picture
Brian Dunn
- Henniker

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 9:27pm

Drug abuse has always been a problem, and will always continue to be a problem. Rather then continue to persecute the drug abusers and accomplish nothing we need to address the much larger problem. This is the doctors themselves who are issuing out all of the prescription pills. It is completely irresponsible. I knew a girl from college who needed to enter rehab as a young adult. At the time she was on 12 different legal prescriptions from different doctors. Prescriptions ranging from depression, anxiety, ADHD, schizophrenia, etc. The real problem here is that none of the doctors coordinate with one another, and there is no records available to doctors from other doctors to connect all of the dots. She could go to one doctor, get a prescription for something. Go to a second doctor and get another prescription, go to a third doctor and get another. So on and so forth. I know other people who developed a problem for the exact same reasons. We need to begin holding these doctors more accountable for the prescriptions that they are writing and create a system where every doctor and every prescription is known and recorded to all. We can do this with banks and credit scores but not with doctors and health care? This is unacceptable. Only until we address the problems with the doctors prescribing all of these pills we we begin to solve the problem with prescription drug abuse.


Log in or register to post comments

Issue Status

SB 286, a bill that establishes a controlled drug prescription health and safety program, was signed by then-Gov. John Lynch on June 11, 2012.  The prescription drug monitoring program launched October 16, 2014.

Rep. Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) and Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) have requested 2016 bills related to the prescription monitoring program. The details of those bills are not yet public.


Here in NH, your opinion counts. We make it easy to find and reach out to your elected officials about the issues that matter most to you. Click to search and contact your elected officials!

Join the LFDA

Join our constantly growing community. Membership is free and supports our efforts to help NH citizens become informed and engaged. 


©2015 Live Free or Die Alliance | The Live Free or Die Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.