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Study, Mar/22: Implementation of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs...


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The full title of this Australian study is "Key considerations for the implementation of clinically focused Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to avoid unintended consequences".






Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) are electronic databases that are used to track and monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances, including opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines. PDMP have been widely implemented throughout North America and are currently being introduced in Australia and some parts of Europe. PDMP were originally developed by and for law enforcement, however many jurisdictions have now shifted use toward clinical care and harm reduction through early identification of prescription dependence and extra-medical use, and to ensure appropriate supply of controlled substances to the community through monitoring health care provider prescribing and dispensing patterns (Deloitte, 2018; Picco et al., 2021a; CDC, 2021a, U.S Department of Justice, 2018). Clinically-motivated PDMP highlight medication-related risk, based on the patient's prescribing and dispensing history. Health care professionals can use this information to aid or inform clinical decision-making and provide opportunities for intervention and treatment (Deloitte, 2018) . However, a number of harms have been associated with the use of PDMP, including increased stigma and discrimination, untreated pain and mental illness, and denial of appropriate health care for those identified as 'high risk'. In this article we examine these harms and potential mitigating factors. We conclude with some suggestions and future directions for research to address some of the current uncertainties regarding PDMP use. We highlight the need for mixed methods research to better understand the personal impacts of PDMP policy on the populations they were designed to aid.


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