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Healthcare Professionals / Progress Notes / Practice of Medicine / ‘Doctor shopping’ drops dramatically in Prescription Drug Monitoring Program’s first year

‘Doctor shopping’ drops dramatically in Prescription Drug Monitoring Program’s first year

In its first year, the Pennsylvania Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has reportedly decreased “doctor shopping” by 86 percent.

The program collects information on all filled prescriptions for controlled substances, helping providers to prescribe safely and patients to get the treatment they need. The state Department of Health recommends that providers check the database every time they prescribe a controlled substance to a patient.

“[The PDMP] has played a key role in increasing communication to not only reduce the number of unnecessarily prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines, but also getting patients with substance abuse disorders the help they need,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.

In the PDMP’s first year:

  • More than 93,000 users registered for the PDMP.

  • Registered providers conducted more than 10 million searches.

  • The program database averaged 53,000 searches on a weekday and 9,000 searches on a weekend.

  • The number of patients who went to 5+ prescribers and 5+ pharmacies in three months for Schedule II drugs decreased 86 percent.

  • The number of youth who received prescriptions for painkillers decreased 30 percent.

  • The PDMP shares data with 11 other states and Washington, D.C.

The PDMP recently began integrating with electronic health records and pharmacy management systems of all eligible health-care entities in Pennsylvania. This provides near-instant and seamless access to critical prescription history information to both prescribers and pharmacists across the commonwealth.


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