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Prescription Monitoring Program: Enhancement and Education

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $400,000)

In Fiscal Year 2006, Congress appropriated $7,500,000 to the U.S. Department of Justice to support the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Prescription monitoring programs are systems where controlled substance dispensing data is submitted to a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. These programs are designed to help prevent and detect the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, particularly at the retail level where no other automated information collection system exists.

States that have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs have the capability of collecting and analyzing prescription data much more efficiently than states without such programs, where the collection of prescription information requires the manual review of pharmacy files which is a very time consuming and invasive process. The increased efficiency of prescription monitoring programs allows for the early detection of abuse trends and possible sources of diversion. The analysis of collected data also allows for the identification of outmoded prescribing practices, such as the undertreatment of pain, which may result in the development of educational programs for medical professionals.

The 2006 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program funds will assist the State of Virginia in the continuation and expansion of their Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The PMP is designed as a tool to increase efficiency of investigations by law enforcement personnel and regulatory authorities and a tool for prescribers in determining the prescription history of their patients. The overriding goal of the program is to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia while promoting access to appropriate pharmaceutical care by citizens and deterring the diversion of pharmaceuticals.

Educational efforts will also be targeted in this phase of implementation to include outreach to pharmacists, prescribers, and other authorized users. For many of these users the PMP is new and therefore information on what the program is and how to use the program is necessary. The PMP's education efforts will consist of presentations to the Boards of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and the Board of Health Professions as well as preparing articles for Board newsletters as appropriate and presentations to other government entities outside DHP. Additionally, the program will seek opportunities to present at health profession association meetings throughout the Commonwealth.

DHP will work to provide prescribers and dispensers with materials and resources to assist them in identifying patients. This includes brochures on pain management guidelines, recognizing prescription drug abuse, and steps to take if abuse or misuse is occurring. DHP is planning to develop a resource for practitioners and citizens to identify treatment options available in the Commonwealth.


Date Created: August 30, 2006