A Closer Look at the California PDMP program

The government effort to combat rampant abuse of prescription opioids by primarily addressing the supply side continues. Like many states, CA has a Prescription Drug Monitoring System (PDMP) in place. This tool should enable physicians and pharmacists to view what controlled substances were previously prescribed for a particular patient and help in making clinical decisions. However, the experience clinicians have with the system leaves much to be desired.

Recently passed legislation (SB 809) mandates that all prescribers and dispensers of controlled substances will subscribe, for a fee, to this service as of January 1, 2016. However, the mandate does not extend to actual USE of the system. One may ask what good is it to mandate that the prescribers subscribe to a monitoring system that they can choose to ignore when making prescribing decisions. The Broken Cure, an investigative report by Jason Smith recently published in The Press Tribune, outlines some of the shortcomings of the California system.

It is ironic that the state that is home to Google, Cisco, HP, and other Silicon Valley information technology giants appears to be unable to manage simple data collection and distribution.

Read The Broken Cure here: https://medium.com/human-parts/the-broken-cure-64dcdc00db9

One thought on “A Closer Look at the California PDMP program

  1. Ivan, I share your concern. I received my authorization to sign in to the California PDMP about 12 months ago. I was discouraged in that it took almost 8 months to have my application processed. One of my colleagues was at a meeting in Sacramento not long ago and the individual responsible for verifying the applications was on hand and they stated that it is not effective to give them a call because they are a department of one. Any phone calls only take them away from processing more applications and slows them down.

    I share your concern that a state such as California with Silicon Valley and the microchip should be setting precedent here; however, perhaps this is the difference between private sector and “not private sector”. i find it difficult to imagine that with current resources all pharmacists and physicians will be signed up by 2016? That said, in our small portion of the state we have embraced the PDMP and regularly run checks on patients who, per our due diligence, exhibit a red flag.
    Thanks for your continued support for this process.

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