Prescription drug monitoring programs in the United States of America
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Prescription drug monitoring programs in the United States of America
  • Published Date:

    Oct 2014

  • Source:
    Rev Panam Salud Publica. 36(4):270-276.
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  • Alternative Title:
    Rev Panam Salud Publica
  • Description:
    Since the late 1990s, the number of opioid analgesic overdose deaths has quadrupled in the United States of America (from 4 030 deaths in 1999 to 16 651 in 2010). The objectives of this article are to provide an overview of the problem of prescription drug overdose in the United States and to discuss actions that could help reduce the problem, with particular attention to the characteristics of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). These programs consist of state-level databases that monitor controlled substances. The information compiled in the databases is at the disposal of authorized persons (e.g., physicians, pharmacists, and other health-care providers) and may be used only for professional purposes. Suppliers can use such information to prevent interaction with other drugs or therapeutic duplication, or to identify drug-search behavior. Law enforcement agencies can use these programs to identify improper drug prescription or dispensing patterns, or drug diversion.
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