A qualitative analysis of prescribers' and dispensers' views on improving prescription drug monitoring programs

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Prescription drug abuse is epidemic in the United States (US). To help address the problem, most states operate prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). PDMPs are designed to monitor and help control the distribution of controlled therapeutic medications and to assist prescribers and dispensers in making informed clinical decisions. To this end, PDMPs rely on timely and accurate data submission, as well as review of the data. Consequently, provider acceptance of these systems is essential to maximize their effectiveness.


This article explores licensed prescribers' and dispensers' opinions regarding prescription drug monitoring.


The study surveyed licensed prescribers and dispensers about their experiences and views on drug monitoring, prescribing and dispensing practices, and on prescription drug abuse in general. Two open-ended questions were posed as part of a larger, end-user survey. The analysis culled thematically-coded excerpts to these two questions.


Respondents offered a range of comments that unearthed important disagreements among prescribers and dispensers over the administration and ethics pertaining to PDMPs. At the same time, some respondents suggested means to enhance PDMPs functionality.


Attending to and rectifying providers' views, while considering their improvement suggestions may boost PDMPs effectiveness by maximizing buy-in and utilization. The potential speaks to advancing a tool that intends to help address alarming rates of prescription drug abuse.

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