Using the PDMP Isn’t Just a Good Idea—It’s the Law

Kelsey Creehan Featured News

From the Winter 2020 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

As we all continue to tackle Colorado’s opioid epidemic, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s new “Check, Please.” initiative encourages prescribers, including dentists, to use the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) before prescribing medication to patients.

The following are the most frequently asked questions about this patient safety resource.

What are the statutory requirements concerning the PDMP?
Dentists, and all prescribers who have a personal DEA license, are required to register and maintain a PDMP account. This has been the law since Jan. 1, 2015.

What is the PDMP and what can it do?

  • It is a clinical decision-making tool for prescribers that provides a patient’s complete controlled substance record, which allows the prescriber to have information for better decision-making.
  • It can be searched for any current patient.
  • Prescribers can review their own substance prescription history through the “My Rx” tool in PMP Aware.
  • It helps prevent prescribing of dangerous combinations of medications that can lead to overdoses.
  • It helps prevent doctor shopping and the diversion of drugs to the black market.

When do I need to check the PDMP?
A law passed in 2018 (SB18-22) places limits on initial opioid prescriptions for opioid-naive patients and requires prescribers to check the PDMP in certain circumstances. Initial fills of opioids are limited to a seven-day supply with the requirement to check the PDMP before authorizing a second fill for an opioid, though the law has exceptions for cancer pain, post-surgical pain, hospice or palliative care, chronic pain, and other diagnoses. There are no exceptions to the requirement except in these instances.

What if I have a personal DEA number and I don’t have a PDMP account?
Colorado will increase enforcement of the PDMP registration requirement in the near future, so the prescribing and dispensing boards are asking those prescribers who don’t have a user account to create an account as soon as possible. The goal is increased utilization and not potential board action. The intent is that all prescribers receive important information about their prescribing habits via prescriber reports.

I have a DEA number, but my profile is either incomplete (which includes a missing or incomplete specialty listing) or has not been set up. What do I do?
Profile set-up can be accomplished in five minutes by providing basic personal information, such as name, date of birth, license number and DEA number at

I’m not sure I have a PDMP account. What do I do?
Please call the state’s PDMP vendor, Appriss, at 855-263-6403 (available 24 hours a day).

I can’t log-in to my PDMP account. What do I do?
If you aren’t sure if you have an account please contact Colorado’s PDMP Vendor, Appriss, through its 24/7 support line at 855-263-6403. If you have an account but it is associated with an email address that is not accessible, please contact the state administrator at or 303-894-5957.

What are Prescriber Reports?
If you prescribe opioids and haven’t received a Prescriber Report, your profile is incomplete. Prescriber Reports compare you to your peers and to Centers for Disease Control guidelines for pain management. These reports are tailored to your area of practice but only work if your correct specialty is listed in order to compare you to your peers.

I am interested in a direct connection to the PDMP through EHRs to avoid the web portal. How do I go about doing that?
Your organization’s administration and/or IT team should contact either your EHR vendor, or the state administrator at to let them know you would like to develop the integrated connection. The state can provide additional resources for those interested in integrating. Most EHR products have the capability of installing an integrated connection to the PDMP with minimal effort on your part. There would be some ongoing subscription costs for this tool that would need to be paid by the dental practice.

I practice in another state and use that state’s drug monitoring program. Do I still need to register with Colorado’s PDMP?
Colorado statute requires all prescribers with a Colorado license who hold a personal DEA license to register and maintain an account with the Colorado PDMP. Statute does not have any exceptions for those with a Colorado license who practice out of state.

I am no longer prescribing. Do I need to participate in the PDMP?
All prescribers who hold an active Colorado license and who have controlled substance prescriptive authority are required by statute to register and maintain a PDMP account. If you do not have a DEA number, you are not required (or able) to register. If your DEA license becomes inactive, you would not be required to maintain your PDMP account.

How does the PDMP interact with other states?
Colorado shares data with 28 other state PDMPs. Colorado will continue to initiate data sharing agreements with other states in the future. Nebraska and Wyoming have been prevented by their statute from sharing data, but Colorado soon will begin sharing data with Nebraska. You can select from a list of other states when searching in PMP Aware. You should also ask the patient if they have received medical or dental care in other states. This will allow you to know which states to search for additional prescription history.

For a comprehensive list of FAQs or to get answers to specific questions, visit or contact 855-263-6403.