Doctor Shopping in Virginia for Illicit Use of Pain Medication is on the Decline


Behaviors associated with doctor shopping for the illegitimate use of prescription drugs is on the decline in Virginia, according to newly released data from the Department of Health Professions’ (DHP) Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).  The PMP maintains a database of prescriptions written in Virginia, interoperable with 15 other states.

MGN Online

RICHMOND, VA -- Behaviors associated with doctor shopping for the illegitimate use of prescription drugs is on the decline in Virginia, according to newly released data from the Department of Health Professions’ (DHP) Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The PMP maintains a database of prescriptions written in Virginia, interoperable with 15 other states.

PMP data collected between 2012 and 2013 shows there has been a 73 percent decline in the number of patients identified as seeking simultaneous care from numerous physicians through multiple pharmacies to obtain Schedule II – IV medications. Such controlled substances are often associated with pain management.

“The Prescription Monitoring Program has helped to raise awareness about the problem of pain medication abuse and to amplify actions aimed at putting an end to illegitimate uses of these drugs,” said Bill Hazel, M.D., Secretary of Health and Human Resources. “I applaud the many health care providers who are taking action to keep their communities safe.”

Earlier this year, Governor McAuliffe signed a bill that requires all prescribers to become registered with the PMP system by July 2015. As a result, pharmacists and prescribers in the Commonwealth will automatically be registered with PMP when they renew or apply for licensure. Registered users can query PMP to get real-time information on a person’s prescribing history.


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