Using the State Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Effectively

What is the Massachusetts Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)?

  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) established the PMP to collect prescribing and dispensing information on Schedule II-V controlled substances dispensed to a prescription in Massachusetts.
  • 49 states have authorized the establishment of prescription monitoring programs.


 Applying to the PMP

  • Since January 1, 2013 the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Drug Control Program (DCP) is automatically enrolling physicians as participants in the Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program (MA Online PMP) upon obtaining a new Massachusetts Controlled Substance Registration (MCSR) or upon having their MCSR recalled.


 How to Use the PMP

  • Use the PMP to look up the patient history of dispensed Schedule II-V controlled substances. For a new patient being prescribed a controlled substance it is advisable to look up the PMP before writing out the first prescription.
  •  For high-risk patients (history of substance abuse, mental health disorder) it may be advisable to look up the online PMP before every prescription of a controlled substance.
  • Online PMP database includes Schedule II-V prescription records for the last 12 months.


Alerts from PMP

  • Email alerts are sent to all enrollees when patient prescription records associated with their Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number are identified as exceeding specified thresholds for prescriptions from multiple prescribers and dispensers.


PMP limitations

  • PMP data may have spelling errors, missing information, inconsistent information (use of nicknames). Some patients may have multiple addresses and multiple versions of names (with and without middle names). Physicians should verify the accuracy of the information in the prescription history with other prescribers and/or dispensers listed before taking clinical action.
  • There is a time lag of up to 2-3 weeks between dispensing of a prescription and its inclusion in the Online PMP.


Find your state’s PMP

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health.