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Evaluation of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

NCJ Number
Ronald Simeone; Lynn Holland
Date Published
September 2006
46 pages
This study examined the direct and indirect effects of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) on the supply and abuse of prescription drugs.
Study findings suggest that the presence of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) reduces per capita supply of prescription pain relievers and stimulants which in turn reduces the probability of abuse for such drugs. The results also suggest that States which are proactive in their approach to regulation may be more effective in reducing the per capita supply of prescription pain relievers and stimulants than States which are reactive in their approach to regulation. In conclusion, the results from the aggregate and individual response models indicate that PDMPs inhibited growth in prescription sales for pain relievers and stimulants, and in doing so, exerted an indirect effect on the probability of abuse for these drugs. The introduction of measures of price per gram for pure heroin, cocaine, crack, and methamphetamine in the model would be instructive, and an examination of possible substitution effects in greater detail. Twenty States have implemented systems to monitor the prescription and sale of drugs identified as controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and 23 States are in the process of designing or planning to design such systems. PDMPs are all intended ultimately to reduce the abuse of controlled pharmaceutical substances. Tables, figures, and references