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Prescription Monitoring Programs

“Doctor Shopping” is a term used to describe a common scam drug seekers use to obtain prescription medications for abuse or for sale on the street.  A doctor shopper will visit several doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same medication. The physicians think that they are treating a legitimate medical condition and are unaware that the “patient” is visiting other prescribers.

Forty-nine states have established or are developing prescription drug monitoring programs (PMPs) to track prescriptions for controlled substances. Prescriptions are captured in a database after the medication is dispensed. Healthcare professionals can check the database to see if a patient has recently obtained prescriptions from another prescriber. Law enforcement officials, under special circumstances, can obtain permission to check the database as part of an investigation.

For more than a decade, Purdue Pharma L.P. has been working with state legislators, regulatory agencies and professional organizations to support the development and operation of state PMPs.

Purdue Pharma also provided a $1 million grant to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to establish PMP InterConnect, a system to help states share prescription data with one another to help deter doctor shopping across state lines.

While PMPs can be a valuable tool to spot doctor shopping, it is important that they protect patient privacy, do not impede patient care, and protect healthcare practitioners from inappropriate interference.

Next, find information on Drug Abuse Surveillance.