Congressional Research Service Report on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

The Congressional Research Service has created a report for Congress on Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs).  The report issued in July provides an overview of prescription drug abuse, overview of current PDMPs, PDMP effectiveness, Federal grant programs for PDMPs, and information on some key policy issues such as balancing stakeholder concerns.

The available evidence suggests that PDMPs are effective in reducing the time required for drug diversion investigations, changing prescribing behavior, reducing “doctor shopping,” and reducing prescription drug abuse; however, research on the effectiveness of PDMPs is limited.

Assessments of effectiveness may take into consideration potential unintended consequences of PDMPs, such as limiting access to medications for legitimate use or pushing drug diversion activities over the border into a neighboring state. Experts suggest that PDMP effectiveness might be improved by increasing the timeliness, completeness, consistency, and accessibility of the data.

The report can be found online at:  http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42593.pdf

Source: Congressional Research Service – July 11, 2012

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