Does the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Offer Any Benefit
Various studies during the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 have revealed the fact that some of the prescription drugs were increasingly misused or abused in the US by the people searching for cheap ways of getting intoxicated. As a result of such abuses, the entire country has to fight with the growing threat of health problems, especially in the younger generation. So to check this position PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was introduced at the state level.
What is PDMP?
PDMP or Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is a program run at the state level to collect the data of the certain prescription medications supplied within that state. The focus of this program was kept mainly on the prescription medications that can be used for addiction and abuse. Some of the data collected under this program come directly from the physicians dispensing them to their patients and the rest of the data come from the pharmacies producing those medicines. At present this program has been implemented by 49 out of 50 states, excluding Missouri, as an effective tool to check the addiction from prescription drugs as well as fighting with this problem at a large scale.
Evolution of PDMP
In order to know the benefits of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program it is better to start from its evolution. PDMP was initially developed in 1939 in California. Initially, it was used to allow the officials enforcing the law to track the over-prescription of some of the prescription medicines that can be converted into their illegal use, for the safety of the general public. However, the view of society about drug addiction has changed in the second half of the 20th century. During this period, addiction became a major issue regarding safety as well as the health of the public as instead of considering it as a punishable crime the focus was mainly on treating the diseases. So the main aim of PDMP changes with the changing impact of addiction on the cultural viewpoint.
PDMP at present
Today the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program continues to help in enforcing laws to fight with the illegal use of prescription medications. In this way, the purpose of this program has been expanded to a considerable level and made it an act of public health more effectively. You can see the effect of this program by focusing on the states in which it has been implemented. Today this program is run by law enforcement agencies of very few states whereas in rest of the states it is run by the pharmacy board and health departments of the states. Along with it, many states have made the data collected under this program accessible also for the specialists of addiction treatment instead of only doctors, pharmacies and law enforcement authorities. In this way, today states are using PDMP to make it more beneficial for the people suffering from addiction before they are involved in some legal process.
Benefits of PDMP
Many studies have revealed certain benefits of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program even if its effectiveness is still a matter of great research. For instance, a study, conducted in 2012, focused on the rate of misuse and abuse of the painkillers in various states during 2003-2009, whether they are using PDMP or not. The results of this research have revealed that the rate of misuse and abuse of painkillers was more in the states not using PDMP than those using it.
According to another study, the access to the data of PDMP has made it easier for the doctors to determine the level of risk of addiction to the patient and take some decision while examining him in-person.
Moreover, access to the data of PDMP can also help the primary health care provider of the patient to tell, if he has secretly started taking prescription drugs from some other doctor or not.
One of the greatest benefits of PDMP is that it can help in starting the process of recovery of the patient from the addiction, which otherwise can be a bit more difficult. It can allow the treatment specialist, pharmacist or doctor to find the ways to find the addicted people even if they do not come forward themselves.
The data of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program can also help in referring the addicted people to the treatment center and starting their recovery process before they reveal the abuse of certain substance to the extreme level.