Why PDMP Data is Crucial during e-Prescribing

What prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) do for our healthcare providers is give them additional insight to help make better decisions in a difficult [medication] situations. PDMP information empowers providers to do what is best for patients.

Overall, PDMPs help providers exercise professional judgment and ensure safe dispensing of controlled substance prescriptions and provide a resource for identifying trends when encountering a patient of concern.

What are the benefits of a PDMP?

As a tool used by states to address prescription drug abuse, addiction and diversion, PDMPs serve several purposes such as:

  • Support access to legitimate medical use of controlled substances
  • Identify and deter or prevent drug abuse and diversion
  • Facilitate and encourage the identification, intervention with and treatment of persons addicted to prescription drugs
  • Inform public health initiatives through outlining of use and abuse trends

PDMPs contribute to the continuity of care among providers working in a variety of practice settings such as primary care, pain management, and substance abuse care. These databases help physicians:

  • By increasing awareness of all active controlled substance medications on file for a patient
  • Help by safely and effectively treating chronic pain
  • Alert prescribers to patients obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors or pharmacies (known as “doctor shoppers”)
  • Deter patients from doctor shopping
  • Monitor compliance and increase confidence in prescribing decisions

For pharmacists:

  • Help pharmacists ensure that patients who are treated for legitimate, chronic pain maintain access to essential medications
  • Identify at-risk patients who may benefit from a pharmacist-initiated counseling session or patients who may be candidates for a referral for lock-in to one dispenser or provider
  • Raise a red flag that alerts a pharmacist to prescriptions likely to enter the illicit market
  • Help pharmacists identify questionable prescriber patterns that warrant referral for further investigation