In the fight against opioid addiction, eight new states will now require prescribers to review patients’ history of drug use in their state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) before prescribing addictive painkillers.
What’s in the policy?
PDMPs are government-run databases created at the state level to “collect, monitor, and analyze electronically transmitted prescribing and dispensing data submitted by pharmacies and dispensing practitioners.” The states now requiring doctors to consult their PDMPs before prescribing include:
- South Carolina
These states will join trailblazers Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma, who first required opioid prescribers to check patients’ drug history in 2010, and a handful of other states. In 2016, only 16 states—including Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania—required doctors to consult their PDMP before prescribing opioid painkillers, per Pew Research. By December of that year, at least 31 states were requiring prescribers to use PDMPs.
In total, 49 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam all have prescription drug monitoring laws and statewide PDMPs. The lone holdout is Missouri, where state legislators continue to debate the merits and logistics of implementing a PDMP as of 2018.
The recent push to require use of PDMPs is only one of several new policies aimed at combating the growing opioid crisis. In June of this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of 50 opioid-related bills, which included provisions to cover the revolutionary Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) method, following in the footsteps of the sixteen major healthcare providers who endorsed MAT in 2017.
More hurdles for practitioners?
In some states, such as Florida, where the law became effective July 1, the policy will also require physicians to take a two-hour course with every renewal of their medical license, and will also impose three-to-seven day limits on prescriptions. Though critics have voiced concerns about the increased hurdles for drug treatment professionals, supporters see the new policies as necessary steps to preventing addiction and death.
PDMPs are a great resource in addressing opioid addiction, but state requirements to use them can create extra work for prescribers. To assist healthcare professionals with this additional requirement, the AZZLY Rize all-in-one solution streamlines this process. With a single sign-in to AZZLY Rize, authorized practitioners can manage and monitor electronic prescriptions of controlled substances through the embedded DrFirst Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS) platform.
To learn more about AZZLY’s easy-to-use electronic health record, contact AZZLY today. Visit AZZLY.com and follow us on Facebook to keep up with breaking news in the fight against opioid addiction, written by experts in the addiction treatment industry.