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Trends in Florida's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program registration and utilization: Implications for increasing voluntary use

Chris Delcher, PhD, Yanning Wang, MS, Henry W. Young, MD, Bruce A. Goldberger, PhD, Siegfried Schmidt, MD, PhD, FAAFP, Gary M. Reisfield, MD


Objective: Effective use of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to track controlled substance prescribing and dispensing may help mitigate the current opioid crisis. Our objective was to examine trends in registration for and use of Florida's PDMP by physicians and pharmacists, from 2013 to 2016. We discuss implications for PDMP uptake and policy.

Design: Key measures, such as cumulative number of registrants per license type and monthly utilization intensity, are presented. A time series forecasting approach was used to (1) model the monthly count of new PDMP registrants and users from January 2013 to December 2016 and (2) estimate cumulative registration totals after 1 year.

Setting: Florida.

Results: As of November 2016, there were 16,498 physicians (representing 31 percent of Drug Enforcement Administration licensees) and 17,241 pharmacists registered with the PDMP, representing 21 and 57 percent of professional licensees, respectively. Of note, the PDMP's designation as a “specialized registry” for electronic medical record “meaningful use” criteria led to a nearly sevenfold increase in physician registrations in a single month. In November 2016, pharmacists displayed a higher past-month PDMP utilization rate (52.2 percent vs 30.1 percent), while physicians displayed a higher past-month PDMP utilization intensity (58.1 vs. 36.1 queries per user). Approximately 25,000 physicians and 31,000 pharmacists must register by the end of 2017 to meet national policy goals.

Conclusion: PDMP registration among physicians and pharmacists is limited, and the use of the PDMP among registrants is more limited still. Our findings suggest that Florida will not meet national policy goals for registrants by the end of 2017, although new initiatives may alter this trend. Allowing the PDMP to help prescribers meet other professional needs, such as “meaningful use” or similar efforts, may be effective in increasing PDMP use.


prescription drug monitoring programs, PDMP, opioid policy, meaningful use, time series

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