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PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) is a data base that records all controlled substance prescriptions including opioids, sleeping pills, ADHD medication, muscle relaxers, among some others. The first PDMP was developed in New York in 1918. It is now in all 50 states (as of 2021).  These data bases have been funded by the Department of Justice (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars).

We've seen several goals listed for the PDMP, but the most common is to give healthcare professionals real-time access to your prescription history so they can make sure you're not "doctor shopping," or otherwise abusing your medication.  Each state runs its own PDMP, usually by the HHS (Dept. of Health and Human Services). Thanks to a company called Appriss, PDMP's are now interconnected between states.

Some common questions answered:

  1. Who enters your information into the PDMP?  The pharmacist/pharmacy technician.
  2. Do you have real-time access to your PDMP report?  No.  Each state has different rules. Contact your HHS and ask how you can see your PDMP history and how to fix any errors.
  3. Who has access to your PDMP? Pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and in some states veterinarians and law enforcement.
  4. What's a risk score in the PDMP?  This brings us to Narxcare.  PDMP pulls from many different data bases (criminal history, financial history, school grades, Electronic Health Records, etc.) and mixes it all with your prescription history to spit out a risk score as to whether your doctor should prescribe to you or not.  See the FAQ "What is Narxcare?" for a more detailed explanation. 

Still interested in reading more about PDMP? Here are a couple of articles we recommend:

This study finds that Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs fail to reduce opioid overdoses and increase the use of black market opioids

Dosing Discrimination: Regulating PDMP Risk Scores

The Doctor Patient Forum

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