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What is prescription drug monitoring?

You probably have a certain expectation of privacy when it comes to your medical care. You may even assume that what medications you are on is something that you can keep between you and your doctors. However, the government now has a way to peek in on what's happening with your prescriptions. That can spell trouble.

What is prescription drug monitoring?

The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program, called PMP, is a mandatory database that keeps track of all the prescriptions you have filled within the state. Although it's one of many across the nation, most people are unaware of its existence or its importance.

How is the database maintained?

Your doctors and pharmacist are legally required to use PMP any time they prescribe or fill an opioid drug for you. The information is maintained electronically.

What effect does PMP have?

One of the main purposes of drug monitoring is to try to avoid "over-prescribing." The database assigns a score to you based on the drugs you are prescribed. That score is an assessment of your risk of an overdose. The higher your score, the more "at-risk" you become.

How can PMP lead to problems?

This system can make doctors nervous about prescribing opioids even to patients who legitimately need them. This can force doctors into reducing a patient's medications to avoid scrutiny. In turn, the patient may be forced into obtaining illegal drugs in order to cope with their pain. Plus, patients who aren't aware of the PMP system may be caught "doctor shopping" or filling prescriptions at different pharmacies to obtain more opioids than they're legally allowed.

If you've been charged with a prescription drug crime due to opioid use or abuse, take the necessary steps to protect your rights.

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