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States such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire have launched or enhanced already existing prescription drug monitoring programs, according to a 2016 Injured Workers Pharmacy report.
In 2016, Massachusetts spent $6 million on upgrades, including a system that is easier for prescribers to access and launched the Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool, the PDMP for Massachusetts.
“There are many ways to enhance a prescription drug monitoring program and states are engaged in a continuous process of enhancement. Massachusetts and some other states now require that prescribers look at PDMP data before prescribing opioids for the first time. That requirement forces doctors to use these programs,” said Thomas Clark, Waltham, Massachusetts-based clearinghouse manager and senior research associate at The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Technical Assistance Center at Brandeis University.
According to Mr. Clark, other enhancements may include allowing delegates other than prescribers to view PDMP data, visual updates, data summaries, and graphical displays of prescription information that would make it easier to use for the prescriber. It could also include prescribers being able to log in to their medical records and to access prescription data in the medical record.
The opioid epidemic in workers compensation has placed a spotlight on prescription drug monitoring programs, which aim to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances and prevent abusive tactics such as doctor hopping and pharmacy shopping.