PDMP Implementation Associated with Reduction in Opioid Prescribing
According to a study released in Health Affairs, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) implementation was associated with more than a 30% reduction in the rate of prescribing of Schedule II opioids (the category with the highest potential of abuse and dependency among all drugs with currently accepted medical use). PDMPs are state-run electronic databases used to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled prescription drugs to patients. They are designed to monitor this information for suspected abuse or diversion (i.e., channeling drugs into illegal use), and can give a prescriber or pharmacist critical information regarding a patient’s controlled substance prescription history. This information can help prescribers and pharmacists identify patients at high-risk who would benefit from early interventions.
The new study “Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are Associated With Sustained Reductions In Opioid Prescribing By Physicians,” analyzed national data reflecting point-of care prescribing practices for pain medication. The study used data from a national survey to assess the effects of these programs on the prescribing of opioid analgesics and other pain medications in ambulatory care settings at the point of care in twenty-four states from 2001 to 2010. The implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program was associated with more than a 30% reduction in the rate of prescribing of Schedule II opioids. This reduction was seen immediately following the launch of the program and was maintained in the second and third years afterward
CDC is working with communities and prescribers to prevent opioid misuse and overdose by tracking and monitoring the epidemic and helping states scale up effective programs. CDC developed the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to help primary care doctors provide safer, more effective care for patients with chronic pain. CDC aims to save lives and prevent prescription opioid overdoses by equipping providers with the knowledge, tools, and guidance they need to make informed treatment decisions.