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    More than 40% of physicians not using Rx monitoring sites


    Most primary care physicians are aware of prescription drug monitoring programs (PMPs) designed to prevent doctor shopping, but more than four out of 10 are not using them, according to a survey published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

    Rx drug abuse: An overview

    The survey is from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. More than 400 physicians (420) last year completed surveys that assessed their attitudes toward, awareness of, and use of PMPs. Slightly more than half of the physicians (53%) reported using one of the programs.

    While most of the doctors surveyed (72%) were aware of the PMPs, authors of the article attributed the low usage rate to the time-consuming nature of retrieving information, and the lack of an intuitive format for data provided by the programs.

    “These results suggest that the majority of US primary care physicians are aware of and use prescription drug monitoring programs at least on occasion, although many did not access these programs routinely,” the authors wrote. “To increase the use of the programs in clinical practice, states should consider implementing legal mandates, investing in prescriber education and outreach, and taking measures to enhance ease of access to and use of the programs.”

    One addiction specialist endorsed the idea of states legally mandating that doctors use the PMPs prior to writing prescriptions for controlled substances.

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.


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    • Anonymous
      Since Money is a known motivator of human behavior let's reward pharmacists with 25 cents each time they inquire about a patient. The "reward" could be applied to the state licensing renewal fee. Thank you. RPh from NJ
    • Anonymous
      It's not surprising!! Most will tell you they don't have the time to check but I really wish they would for those patients that rotate through different ER's nightly! I've had to caution some as well about the importance of checking for these provider shoppers!