The Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is a tool that supports safe prescribing and dispensing and assists in addressing prescription drug misuse and abuse. The PMP collects prescribing and dispensing information on Massachusetts Schedule II through V controlled substances dispensed pursuant to a prescription. Schedules II through V consist of those prescription pharmaceuticals with recognized potential for abuse or dependence (e.g., narcotics, stimulants, sedatives), and consequently, they are among those most sought for illicit and inappropriate (non-medical) use. The Drug Control Program (DCP) utilizes PMP data to determine prescribing and dispensing trends; provide patient prescription history information to prescribers and dispensers; provide educational information to health care providers and the public; and provide case information to regulatory and law enforcement agencies concerning drug distribution and diversion.
The Department of Public Health established the PMP in 1992 pursuant to joint regulations of DCP (see 105 CMR 700.012) and the Board of Registration in Pharmacy (see 247 CMR 5.04). The PMP uses a computer-based, Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) system to collect prescription data from Massachusetts community, hospital outpatient and clinic pharmacies as well as from out-of-state mail order pharmacies that deliver to patients in Massachusetts. During FY10, approximately 1,200 Massachusetts pharmacies collectively reported over 3.5 million prescriptions for Schedule II drugs to the PMP. Medical Review Groups (MRGs), comprised of practitioners (e.g., physicians, dentists) and pharmacists, evaluate prescription data analyzed by DCP and provide peer review of the data to assist DCP in its review of data for release to law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Data related to over 2300 cases have been reviewed by the MRGs since 1994.
In December, 2010, DCP launched the Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program. Please see the MA Online PMP website www.mass.gov/dph/dcp/onlinepmp for more information.
DCP has been awarded grants in the past few years from the U.S. Department of Justice to undertake program enhancement initiatives for the PMP, which are currently underway.
For general information on PMPs, including programs in other states, see the following website and its link to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration information on PMPs: www.pmpalliance.org. For additional information on the Massachusetts PMP, please contact DCP at (617) 983-6700.
- Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program
- Resources for Pharmacy Data Submitters
- Notification Regarding Amendments to Prescription Monitoring Program Regulations