Maine's prescription drug monitoring program faces low adoption

Prescription drug monitoring programs are seen as a key effort in curbing opioid misuse and abuse, but the programs only can be effective if used thoroughly. A new study published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs finds Maine's PDMP is largely underused.

Researchers surveyed 275 Maine pharmacists in the fall of 2014 about the extent that opioids affect their practice.

Although 85.9 percent of surveyed pharmacists said opioid misuse is a concern, and 75.3 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Maine's prescription monitoring program,  only 56.2 percent reported using the M-PMP.

Analysis of the surveys find pharmacists with a PharmD had a more favorable rating of and were more likely to use the M-PMP than pharmacists with bachelor's degrees. Additionally, pharmacists working in a hospital setting were less likely to use the M-PMP than those in a retail environment.

"Pharmacists are very aware of the potential for opioid misuse, but many do not consistently use the M-PMP," the study authors conclude. "Continued vigilance and use of tools like the PMP…are necessary to minimize nonmedical use of opioids in Maine."

More articles on opioids:

Anthem flags members with high risk of opioid abuse 
Med schools redesign training to fight opioid abuse 
Alabama physician indicted for prescribing 'massive amounts' of opioids 

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