"There have been significant advances in implementing PDMPs, 49 states and Washington, D.C. now have operational PDMPs. PDMPs help providers understand their patients’ medication histories, as well as problematic behaviors that signal a need for more in-depth conversations about pain and substance use. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) supported PDMP expansion grants in 11 states in 2015. ONC, SAMHSA, and CDC all have funded research and standards development for PDMP improvements. The IHS, DoD, and VA have piloted the integration of PDMP systems within their electronic health records systems. In July 2016, both VA and IHS announced new policies that require prescribers to check the PDMP prior to making a decision to prescribe controlled medications.

"Historically, the ability of states to share data has been limited, but agencies are currently involved in efforts to enhance the interoperability of state PDMPs. At the time of this writing, two electronic data sharing hubs are operational, enabling 43 states to work through one or both to share PDMP data with at least one other state. Funding from BJA and DoD has been used to enhance this interstate data sharing.

"PDMPs are only one approach to monitoring. The DoD, VA, and CMS all have initiated drug utilization review programs for some of their patient populations to better coordinate care for individuals who are prescribed opioid medications. Many hospitals administer patient surveys to determine whether their pain was managed adequately. CMS has proposed new questions for these surveys that avoid the perception that performance is linked to prescribing opioid medications for pain control.14"


Office of National Drug Control Policy, "National Drug Control Strategy 2016," (Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President, January 2017), p. 67.