This FAQ is also available as a printable pdf.
What is a Prescription Monitoring Program?
Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMPs) are highly effective tools utilized by government officials for reducing prescription drug abuse and diversion. PMPs collect, monitor, and analyze electronically transmitted prescribing and dispensing data submitted by pharmacies and dispensing practitioners. The data are used to support states’ efforts in education, research, enforcement and abuse prevention. PMPs are managed under the auspices of a state, district, commonwealth, or territory of the United States.
States recognize the medical need for controlled substances and, therefore, PMPs do not interfere with appropriate, medical use. Prescription data is provided only to entities authorized by state law to access the program, such as health care practitioners, pharmacists, regulatory boards and law enforcement agencies.
PMPs are proactive in safeguarding public health and safety while supporting the legitimate use of controlled substances. PMPs do not infringe on the legitimate prescribing of a controlled substance by a practitioner acting in good faith and in the course of a professional practice.
How many states have a PMP?
Currently 49 states and one territory have legislation authorizing the creation and operation of a PMP. Forty-two States currently have a PMP that is operational (meaning collecting data from dispensers and reporting information from the database to authorized users). For more information, visit the Alliance website at www.pmpalliance.org where you can view our PMP Program Status Map or PMP Program Status Table. To learn more about a specific state PMP, please also visit our State Profiles section.
What agency administers the PMP in each state?
A variety of state agencies administer the PDMP:
|Departments of Health||15|
|Boards of Pharmacy||18|
Information about which agency is responsible for the PMP in a specific state is available on our website at www.pmpalliance.org on our State Profiles. You may also view our state agency map for a nation-wide look.
Which drugs are monitored by PMPs?
Per state law, PMPs monitor controlled substances as defined by Federal and State Controlled Substances Laws. Most PMPs collect federal schedules II-IV which contain narcotics like hydrocodone, tranquilizers like alprazolam and diazepam, and stimulants like methylphenidate. Some PMPs also monitor additional drugs of concern such as carisoprodol. To find out which drugs are monitored by a specific state we again direct you to our State Profiles on our website at www.pmpalliance.org.
|Schedules II-III||RI, WI||2|
|Schedules II-IV||AZ, CA, FL, IA, KS, ME, MN, NV, NJ, NM, OR, SC, SD, VT, VA, WV, WY||17|
|Schedules II-V||AK, AL, AR, CO, CT, DE, GA, Guam, HI, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, MS, NY, NC, ND, MD, MT, OH, OK, TN, TX, UT, WA||28|
|To be determined||NE||1|
Who is typically provided access to PMP information?
Access to PMP information is determined by state law. Most States allow practitioners and pharmacists to obtain PMP reports on patients under their care.
Many states also provide PMP information to other authorized groups. These may include:
Law Enforcement for drug investigations (open investigations and sometimes court orders are required)
Licensing and Regulatory Boards for investigating health care professionals who prescribe or dispense prescription controlled substances
State Medicaid Programs for Medicaid member or provider reviews
State medical examiners or coroners for cause of death investigations
Research organizations that may be provided de-identified data for analysis and research
Who do I contact in my state/territory for questions about my local PMP?
A contact list is maintained on our website that has contacts for each PMP as well as other partner agencies and organizations.
What type of training and technical assistance is available and how do I request assistance?
Made possible through the partnership of three groups – The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), The Schneider Institutes for Health Policy at Brandeis University, and The Alliance – the Training and Technical Assistance Center is helping BJA grantees and others in planning, implementing and enhancing prescription monitoring programs.