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New Jersey Announces New Standards for Veterinary Prescriptions to Fight Opioid Epidemic

October 26, 2017

To prevent individuals from using pets to obtain pain medications to feed their opioid addiction, New Jersey is implementing stricter guidelines for reporting prescription information for animals. Created as a collaborative effort among the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP), the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, and the New Jersey Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, the new guidelines recommend including pet names and their owner’s information on prescriptions. By creating new standards for the way pet prescriptions are written, filled, and entered into the NJPMP, the database will become a more valuable tool for veterinarians and other prescribers to identify drug diversion by pet owners, notes a news release from the Office of the Attorney General.

The New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy sent letters to its 16,884 members recommending that they place the following information on prescription labels provided to owners to treat their animals and record it in the NJPMP:

  • The name of the animal, (its species), and the owner’s last name.
  • The animal’s date of birth.
  • The owner’s name.
  • The owner’s address.
“There appears to be a rising trend in people using their pets, sometimes even deliberately injuring their pets, to obtain these restricted pain medications for themselves,” said Sharon Joyce, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The new standards make it easier to track CDS prescribed for animals to better identify behaviors that indicate someone is seeking the drugs for any purpose other than the treatment of a pet’s existing medical condition.”
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