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Press Release

For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2016

Office of The Attorney General
Robert Lougy, Acting Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Steve C. Lee, Acting Director

Division of Law
Michelle L. Miller, Acting Director
  For Further Information and Media Inquiries:
Brian Murray (609) 777-2600

Governor Christie: NJPMP Is One Of Our Best Tools In The Fight Against Drug Abuse



Amanda Potopchuk:  In August 2007 I used heroin with an individual. That individual lost their life and I lived.  My story is sadly, is not an uncommon story it is one that has been happening for years now all over the country and in particular, in my home in South Jersey, which has been rocked by this epidemic. I believe that the problem is complex. Blame cannot and should not be placed solely, on the patient, the prescriber, or the pharmacists.  My physicians had a duty to treat my pain, but they also had a duty to alert me and my parents for the possibility of misuse and the risk for dependence or addiction while on these medications. They should have been monitoring me for any signs of addiction and when these signs became apparent they should have referred me to addictions counseling or found other methods to control my pain. Sadly, none of those things happened.  The PMP is one of what I can only hope becomes many programs in this wonderful state we live in, to prevent anymore loss and suffering. I thank my lucky stars every day that I am here today, standing before you.  I am a person, I am a someone’s daughter, I am someone’s sister, I am someone’s aunt, and I am someone’s niece, I am someone’s girlfriend, I am someone’s friend.



Governor Christie: I spend a lot of my time as Governor talking about this issue, and when people ask me why I do it’s because of folks like Amanda and her mom. I’m a dad too, and one of the worst nightmares any parent can have is the idea that their child might be subjected to the story that Amanda just told and that her mother and her loved ones have had to endure over a period of time. While listening to Amanda’s story it’s—it has a happy ending. It didn’t have to, and she mentioned some in her speech who didn’t have a happy ending. That is why I continue to talk about this issue and work so hard. That is why I continue to be an advocate to other states for getting involved in every way they can to try to allow our health care providers in our state to be a part of the solution. Many pathways to addiction and dealing with its causes, but we know prescription drug abuse is a common one that we have to wrap our arms around as government leaders and as medical professionals. One of the ways that we’re taking action together is through New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program, one of our best tools in the fight against the diversion of prescription drugs. It’s an innovative data-sharing partnership between the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and our state’s prescribers and pharmacists, and it’s a vital resource that keeps detailed information on every prescription filled in New Jersey for medications classified as CDS, Controlled Dangerous Substances, including potentially addictive opiate painkillers. Since September 2011, the database has captured information on more than 59 million written prescriptions. Through the work of our Division of Consumer Affairs under the direction of Steve Lee, there has been an unprecedented expansion that New Jersey has led in providing access to the entire community of our physicians and other licensed health care practitioners. As of last week, more than 96 percent of New Jersey’s physicians are registered. Since its inception, more than 6 million user requests have been conducted just on our PMP alone, really important, so that’s why I’m more pleased to announce our collaboration with the state of New York. Partnering with New York adds tremendous strength to the PMP’s ability to track suspicious signs of prescription drug misuse and other suspicious behaviors, and I want to personally thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to this multistate effort.

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Last Modified: 4/27/2016 8:49 AM