New England governors are calling for stronger cross-border monitoring of prescription drugs as part of a regional strategy for fighting opioid abuse.
Governor Deval Patrick convened the meeting Tuesday at Brandeis University in Waltham. Patrick and Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont co-hosted the summit, with Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut and Governor Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island were also in attendance.
The governors announced an agreement to strengthen the sharing of data on prescription painkillers that officials said can lead to heroin abuse.
"While we are all addressing opioid addiction independently, we feel like we'd be even better doing so collaboratively, sharing best practices and learning from one another," Patrick said.
The governors said by working together, they hope they can cut down on what they call "doctor shopping" by patients.
"This epidemic has affected too many of our families and communities, but if we work together, we can recover together, and we will come out of this crisis with strength and hope," said Governor Patrick. "Each of the New England governors has taken strong action to combat opiate abuse in their own states, and now we are acting together as one region to take on this challenge."
The regional meeting was one of several recommendations made by Governor Patrick's Opioid Task Force.
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