Associations between statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) requirement and physician patterns of prescribing opioid analgesics for patients with non-cancer chronic pain.Addict Behav. 2018 Jan; 76:348-354.AB
State-level prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) have been implemented in most states. PDMPs enable registered prescribers to obtain real-time information on patients' prescription history to reduce non-medical use of controlled drugs. This study examined whether PDMP implementation and different levels of PDMP requirements were associated with physicians' patterns of prescribing opioid analgesics for patients with non-cancer chronic pain.
This is a secondary analysis study using cross-sectional national data. Patients with non-cancer chronic pain from the 2012 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey were included (weighted N=81,018,131; unweighted N=3295). Heckman two-step selection procedure employing two logistic regressions was used to explore the associations between PDMP requirements and physicians' prescribing behaviors, controlling for physician characteristics, patient characteristics, physician-healthcare system interaction, and physician-patient relationship, guided by the Eisenberg's model of physician decision making.
State PDMP implementation status and requirement levels were not associated with physician opioid prescribing for non-cancer chronic pain treatment (p's ranged 0.30-0.32). Patients with Medicare coverage were more likely to be prescribed opioid analgesics than those with private health insurance (OR=1.55, p<0.01). Hispanic patients were less likely to be prescribed opioid analgesics than non-Hispanic white patients (OR=0.61, p<0.05).
Findings indicated that the effectiveness of PDMPs on physicians' opioid prescribing tendency for non-cancer chronic pain treatment could not be supported. Policy makers should be aware of the need for redesigning PDMPs regarding requirements and enforcement for prescribers and related stakeholders. Future studies also are needed to identify characteristics contributing to PDMP effectiveness in reducing non-medical use of prescription opioids.