April 25, 2013 08:05 ET

NCPDP Calls for Standards-Based Approach to PDMP to Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse

White Paper Details Existing Industry Standards and Best Practices to Improve Prescriber and Pharmacy Clinical Decision-Making at Point of Care, and Supports Real-Time Access to PDMP Data Across State Lines to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse of Controlled Substances

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - Apr 25, 2013) - The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) announced the availability of the white paper, "NCPDP Recommendations for Improving Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs." The document details an action plan to help standardize Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) to better track and deter abuse of prescriptions for controlled substances.

Abuse of prescription drugs is the nation's fastest growing drug problem according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug overdose deaths as epidemic.

"Addressing patient safety issues has always been a top priority for NCPDP," explained Lee Ann Stember, president of NCPDP. "This white paper offers state governments and other industry stakeholders a road map for how to resolve the challenges of PDMP and realize its potential by using existing industry standards and processes."

As of February 2013, 49 states -- similar legislation is pending in Missouri -- have enacted laws to establish a PDMP, an electronic database that collects data on controlled substances dispensed or prescribed within their jurisdiction. However, the absence of business rules governing or allowing sharing of information from state to state and across pharmacies; lack of interoperability among the operational PDMPs; and variation in the timeliness of data reporting make it difficult for states and law enforcement to prevent misuse, abuse and fraud.

Further, the prescription monitoring process is not integrated into pharmacist and prescriber workflow, and does not support proactive intervention because it does not provide information in a timely manner, making it difficult for pharmacy and medical professionals to identify potential drug abuse, diversion, to evaluate patient safety risk and to make appropriate clinical decisions before a prescription is written or dispensed. Providing timely clinical data will also ensure access for patients with a valid medical need for controlled substances to treat their medical conditions.

To download the white paper, go to:

NCPDP's white paper is part of its decades-long commitment to providing the industry forum healthcare, pharmacy and government stakeholders to convene and solve patient safety and business challenges that impact consumers, clinicians and pharmacists through its proven, multi-stakeholder, consensus-based model.

Founded in 1977, NCPDP is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, Standards Development Organization with over 1,600 members representing virtually every sector of the pharmacy services industry. Our diverse membership provides leadership and healthcare business solutions through education and standards, created using the consensus building process. NCPDP has been named in federal legislation, including HIPAA, MMA, and HITECH. NCPDP members have created standards such as the Telecommunication Standard and Batch Standard, the SCRIPT Standard for e-Prescribing, the Manufacturers Rebate Standard and more to improve communication within the pharmacy industry. Our data products include dataQ®, a robust database of information on more than 76,000 pharmacies, and HCIdea®, a database of continually updated information on more than 2.3 million prescribers. NCPDP's RxReconn® is a legislative tracking product for real-time monitoring of pharmacy-related state and national legislative and regulatory activity. For more information about NCPDP Standards, Data Services, Products, Educational Programs and Work Group meetings, go online at or call (480) 477-1000.

Contact Information

    Janet Cabibbo
    Amendola Communications for NCPDP
    480-664-8412 ext. 15
    Email Contact