The inappropriate use of opioids in the United States has increased markedly and has resulted in a tragic loss of lives. To combat this problem, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) have been instituted in most states. Use of the programs is voluntary for prescribers in some states, whereas in other states it is mandatory. The current study used a self-report survey instrument that was administered to 223 participant physicians. The goal of the study was to compare awareness and use of the PDMP in a state that mandates use (Ohio) with one that does not (North Carolina). Although awareness was not significantly different between respondents from the two states, self-reported use was significantly higher in the state mandating use (Ohio post-mandate vs. Ohio pre-mandate: 64% vs. 51%; χ2 = 15.66, P < .0001; and Ohio post-mandate vs. North Carolina: 64% vs. 42%; χ2 = 12.76, P < .0001). Based on these results, mandating use may be an effective method to increase PDMP utilization.
Keywords: Controlled substances; physicians; prescription drug monitoring programs.