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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Description of Strategy

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are electronic databases maintained by state agencies that track prescription and distribution of controlled substances. Most states monitor schedule II – IV of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s drug schedule; many states also include Schedule V and other controlled substances. PDMPs are used by prescribers and pharmacists to monitor prescriptions of individual patients, by law enforcement agencies to identify medication diversion or pill mills, and by state medical boards to identify prescribers who over-prescribe. The medications and the ways they are monitored vary from state to state.

Wyoming statute § 35-7-1060 (2017) requires the Wyoming Pharmacy Board to maintain a computerized program to track prescriptions for controlled substances

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Discussion of Effectiveness

Prescription & Other Drugs

A systematic review by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, County Health Rankings (2017) found some evidence that PDMPs reduce the amount and number of drugs prescribed, particularly opioids. The review found evidence that PDMPs can reduce opioid deaths. The review also found that states with PDMPs have smaller increases in opioid misuse and slower increases in the supply of prescription pain relievers and stimulants.
A large scale study (Pardo, 2017) examined epidemiological records for all 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1999 to 2014. The author found that states with stronger PDMPs had lower opioid overdose deaths.