The Pew Health Group has just released a report analyzing the features and effectiveness of individual states’ Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, or PDMP‘s. The report observes that while 45 out of 50 states in the U.S. have PDMP’s up and running, participation by healthcare providers and pharmacists in most states is optional, and funding and program effectiveness varies widely. A good PDMP provides detailed information in as close to real-time as possible, to be utilized by providers, pharmacists, and others in spotting things like doctor-shopping, painkiller abuse, or drug-seeking behavior by patients. It gives pharmacists and providers an accurate picture of a patient, and gives regulators a fuller picture of pharmacists and providers. All healthcare providers and pharmacists should know what the recommended best practices are, in order to institute whatever they can at their own business. That’s always a good way to (a) take good care of patients, and (b) demonstrate to law enforcement and regulators that you are doing everything you can to practice legally, safely and ethically.
Of note to MD’s, DO’s, PA’s and pharmacists should be that law enforcement, among others, can subscribe or be privy to information stored on a PDMP database. Providers and pharmacists should maintain strict compliance with all applicable criminal and other laws governing prescribing and dispensing prescription painkillers. Call Painkiller Law – the Meister Law Offices – at 213.293.3737 for a free consultation on complying with the law of prescription painkillers, and how to implement and maintain best practices in your business. It’s good preventative medicine.