Publication Title: 
Health Affairs
Publication Date: 
Monday, March 2, 2015

A new study released on March 2, 2015, in Health Affairs reports that most primary care physicians are aware of prescription drug monitoring programs and have used the data in their practices, but do so only intermittently.

The study surveyed 420 physicians randomly identified through the American Medical Association’s Masterfile list. Of those physicians surveyed, 72 percent were aware of their state’s prescription drug monitoring program, and 53 percent reported that they had used the programs.

Other key findings:

  • Physicians who had used data from a prescription monitoring program reported using the program for only about eight patients in the month leading up to the survey. The physicians surveyed see an average of 285 patients per month, and reported they prescribe opioids to about 35 patients per month.
  • 74 percent of physicians who had used data from a prescription drug monitoring program believed that it had led them to prescribe opioids less frequently.