Murray told those in attendance there is an "an opportunity to learn from your colleagues as we continue to work together to address prescription drug abuse in Massachusetts and across the country."
"We in state government continue to respond. As chair of the Interagency Council on Substance Abuse and Prevention, Gov. (Deval) Patrick has tasked me to work in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, state legislators, advocates and providers to find solutions that will raise awareness of abuse, improve treatment and prevention services, and increase education."
In 2010, Patrick signed into law an act adding safeguards to the prescription monitoring program and furthering substance abuse education and prevention.
"We then launched an online system for providers and pharmacists to obtain clinical information on their patients in an effort to reduce 'doctor shopping,' which is estimated to involve approximately 9,000 individuals in Massachusetts," Murray told those assembled. "This online system, known as the prescription monitoring program, is now up and running successfully. This program will only be successful if professionals make the commitment to participate. By better engaging pharmacists in the conversation on prescription drug abuse, we can also train prescribers to understand the ripple affect prescription painkillers may have. This is just one of the many ways pharmacists can help the Commonwealth combat a growing problem."
"As we face the opiate crisis, we need to turn to each other because working with each other can better address the issues and challenges government, industry, communities, and families face," Murray told the association members. "Prevention and treatment services are also critical, but the role each of you can play is very invaluable. We must continue to use every available resource to reduce the epidemic of opiate abuse and its catastrophic effects."