Pennsylvania to Receive Funding to Combat Prescription Drug Overdoses > Hospital Association of Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania to Receive Funding to Combat Prescription Drug Overdoses

September 11, 2015

Pennsylvania has been awarded $900,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address the growing opioid epidemic in the commonwealth.

The funding, which is part of the “Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States” program, will support efforts to implement prevention strategies to improve safe prescribing practices and turn the tide on prescription drug overdoses.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) is planning to use the funding to:

  • Enhance and maximize its Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by promoting registration and use, and conducting public health surveillance from the data gathered
  • Implement community and/or insurer interventions aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse and overdose
  • Evaluate existing laws, policies, and regulations designed to prevent opioid overuse, misuse, abuse, and overdose

DOH will move forward with the allocation of these federal resources once the state budget is passed.

Sixteen states were awarded funding to improve their ability to track the problem, work with insurers to help providers make informed prescribing decisions, and take action to combat this epidemic.

CDC plans to provide these states annual awards between $750,000 and $1 million for four years, subject to the availability of funds.

Addressing opioid-related misuse and prescribed medication deaths has become an area of increasing attention at both the national level and within Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is among the top ten states in the U.S. for drug overdose rates per capita. During 2013, approximately 2,400 Pennsylvanians died from a drug overdose.

Heroin and opioid overdose are the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania.

HAP will continue to monitor and work with other health care stakeholders and policymakers in efforts to reduce opioid misuse and deaths in the commonwealth, and support federal and state legislative initiatives to curb drug abuse.

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