Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Photo of a pharmacist scanning medication

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) are statewide databases, usually administered by astate agency to track the filling and dispensing of prescription drugs. In most states, only prescriptiondrugs that are delineated as Schedule II through IV on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA)drug schedule are monitored. The intent of these databanks is to ensure appropriate prescribingpractices and to deter illegal behavior, such as “doctor shopping.” Doctor shopping occurs when anindividual visits multiple physicians to obtain prescriptions that are not clinically necessary. It is acommon practice among people who are addicted to prescription drugs and suppliers of opioids.