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Gov. O’Malley to sign prescription drug monitoring bill

ANNAPOLIS — Gov. Martin O’Malley is signing a bill to create a prescription drug monitoring program in Maryland.

After Tuesday’s bill signing in Annapolis, the governor will be joined in Baltimore by Gil Kerlikowske, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, for a roundtable discussion. Representatives of the medical, pharmaceutical and law enforcement communities will attend.

Health officials who pushed for the bill say cases of prescription drug abuse have been soaring in Maryland. Fran Phillips, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health services, testified at a March hearing on the bill in Annapolis that the rate of admissions into drug treatment programs between 2007 and 2010 has almost doubled for prescription drug abuse.