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“Study Finds Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Ineffective at Curbing Overdoses”

This article appeared on the Pharmacist Steve website on May 6, 2019.

Here was my response:

The Oregon PDMP is a flawed system that no one seems to care about improving despite all the mistakes that have been pointed out with it. The legislature finally made all medical providers sign up for the program, but they are NOT required to use it! Stupidity at it’s political best! State law requires that controlled substance prescriptions be posted on the website within 72 hours of being filled. I have seen prescriptions fail to show up on the system even 3 months later! No one cares! You report it to the PDMP and they blame it on the pharmacy. Your report it to the Oregon Board of Pharmacy and nothing happens. Some of the pharmacies have even failed to make the corrections when they have been notified of their mistakes. Safeway pharmacy of Roseburg, Oregon was so bad that I refuse to allow my patients to fill their medications there. There were prescriptions that hadn’t shown up on the PDMP in over a year! And when I notified Safeway’s corporate office, they refused to even reply back to me! The PDMP could be very useful if it is used properly and in a timely manner. Too many mistakes are being made by pharmacies and the PDMP system to make it truly effective. How about when physicians fail to check their own listing to see what prescriptions have been filled under their license? I know of two physicians in Roseburg who have had their employees write their own pain medication prescriptions without the physician’s knowledge. But guess what? When the physicians were notified by the pharmacy, they didn’t report the illegal acts to the police. No! They hid them and let the employees move on to other medical offices in the area to repeat their same illegal activities. The Oregon Medical Board will not investigate unless one of the participants comes forward to report it! Like that’s really going to happen!

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