At one-year anniversary, NABP has nine states sharing PMP data to prevent drug abuse

Expects to have 22 states onboard in near future, preventing 'doctor shopping' and other abuses

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs, also known as PMPs) enable pharmacists to share prescription-fulfillment data to prevent “doctor shopping” by abusers of, among other drugs, opioids. By sharing the data, pharmacists can be aware when a patient has filled one prescription recently for the controlled substance, which should prevent others from being filled. Most states (41 at last count) have a PMP in place, and more are joining. But the ability of abusers to cross state lines has meant that a national PMP is necessary.

The National Assn. of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP; Mt. Prospect, IL) has stepped into this breach with the NABP InterConnect program, which enables the interstate sharing to occur. Nine states (AZ, CT, IN, KS, MI, ND, OH, SC and VA) have already linked in, and an additional dozen or so states are expected in the near future, according to NABP. Pharmacists can obtain a report in less than eight seconds from the system, says the group, and to date, some 375,000 reports have been generated. Furthermore, NABP says that it has absorbed all the costs of setting up and administering the program, and is committed to doing so for the next five years. There are federal dollars available, through a variety of programs, for states to run their PMPs.

PMPs parallel, but do not replace, the efforts made by wholesalers to the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the Controlled Substances Act, to regulate the distribution of DEA-regulated drugs. Under DEA oversight, wholesalers and retail pharmacies are obligated to report the quantities of controlled substances they are ordering, dispensing or otherwise distributing.