The American Medical Association (AMA) believes that modernized, interoperable Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) have the potential to be a powerful clinical tool to help prevent prescription drug abuse, diversion, overdose and death. As states continue to consider how to best deploy PDMPs, the AMA has specific recommendations as part of our comprehensive efforts to help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion.
Prescription drug monitoring programs offer tremendous potential – to either effectively curb abuse or to overburden prescribing doctors, making patients struggle to get the pain relief they legitimately need. The challenge lies in achieving the former without effecting the latter. To strengthen these programs, policymakers must design PDMPs with user-friendly, efficient methods for minimizing abuse.
Diversion of prescription drugs is a significant abuse problem, and state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP’s) have been created to be an efficient, cost effective tool for investigating and preventing drug diversion. A PDMP uses a centralized database in order to collect and review prescriptions on controlled substances. The intended effect is to share valuable information among providers and pharmacists as well as limit drug overdoses and curtail doctor shopping and prescriber overuse.