Don’t be a Victim of Doctor Shopping

Krysia GabenskiFeatured News

February 24, 2015

Doctor shopping by patients seeking pain relief/controlled substances happens every day across the country. Recently, it’s even hit close to home, with several Boulder area dentists unknowingly writing prescriptions for these types of drugs to the same patient within a couple-week time period. Despite its prevalence, this scenario can be prevented in Colorado with the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

All dentists with a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration were required to register with Colorado’s PDMP by Oct. 31, 2014. In late March 2015, the Colorado Dental Board may begin imposing fines, starting at $1,250, for dentists who fail to complete the PDMP registration. If you haven’t already, register with and use the PDMP for access to vital tools that help identify drug-seeking patients and avoid the scenario described above. Access detailed instructions on the registration process by clicking here. For questions about the PDMP registration process, contact the PDMP helpdesk at 855-263-6403. If you are already registered or are a current user of the PDMP database, no future action is needed at this time to meet the state requirement.

If you discover suspicious activity by a patient or another prescriber, you may report the activities to the appropriate authorities as follows:
● If a prescriber or dispenser suspects illegal activity, the matter should be referred to the DEA and local law enforcement.
● If a prescriber or dispenser suspects illegal activity on behalf of another prescriber or dispenser, at a minimum, the matter should be reported to the appropriate licensing board.

About the PDMP
The PDMP is a secure online database created in 2005 that provides objective information about patients’ controlled substance prescription records to assist Colorado healthcare providers in offering appropriate treatment to their patients. The goal with the October 2014 registration requirement for prescribers is that practitioners who prescribe controlled substances will routinely use the program as a reference once they’ve registered. The PDMP database can be a helpful tool, as it provides dentists with vital information to make informed decisions about prescribing a controlled substance. While dentists are required to register with the PDMP, there is no requirement that prescribers utilize the program on an ongoing basis. Registration is the only requirement, aside from the notification requirement that has been in place since 2011 for any patient prescribed a controlled substance. The CDA encourages prescribers to use the PDMP as a helpful reference and prescribing tool.