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
- 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