ND among states concerned over federal opioid grant decision

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The federal government wants to tie grant money used to fight the opioid crisis to state using a data sharing system. That decision isn't sitting well with some state pharmacy leaders, including here in North Dakota.

Mark Hardy, director of North Dakota's Board of Pharmacy, says the state has been sharing data with other states since 2010 and switching and it puts the state in a difficult position. Hardy adds the frustration comes with the Federal government pushing their own version of data sharing system when private industry has already come up with one. If North Dakota says no, they could lose out on $5 million in grant money.

“The number of deaths decreasing, the number of opioid prescriptions being dispensed in the state going down is certainly positive signs to the reality that we're getting our hands around this. But we just don't want to take a step back,” said Hardy.

Hardy says another concern is how they would protect patient information safe.