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State Forges Ahead with Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Pennsylvania is moving forward with its implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) with the expectation that it will become operational in August or early fall of 2016. In March, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that Meghna Patel, MHA, was named director of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program office. Her primary role is to develop and launch the online database that will allow prescribers and dispensers to access patients’ controlled substance prescription medication history. DOH also chose a vendor, Appriss, to oversee development of the online database.

What is required of prescribers?
Once the new PDMP is fully operational, prescribers are required to query the system for:
  • Each new patient the first time the patient is prescribed a controlled substance; or,
  • If a prescriber believes or has reason to believe, using sound clinical judgment, that a patient may be abusing or diverting drugs
Once the new PDMP is fully operational, prescribers are required to indicate the information obtained from the system in the patient’s medical record if:
  • The individual is a new patient; or, 
  • The prescriber determines a drug should not be prescribed or furnished to a patient based upon the information from the system.
Stay tuned for more information from PDA once the database becomes operational and the Department of Health announces training opportunities for health care providers. Check out the Department of Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program website for more information.