Faculty Articles


Attitudes of Florida Pharmacists Toward Implementing a State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for Controlled Substances



Publication Title

Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy





Date of original Performance / Presentation

July 2011

Publication Date / Copyright Date


First Page


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BACKGROUND: As of May 23, 2011, 35 states had an operational prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), and 13 additional states, including Florida in 2009, had passed legislation to implement a PDMP. PDMPs, electronic databases that collect and track designated data on controlled substances and other commonly abused medications, are intended to serve as a tool for health care practitioners when prescribing and dispensing controlled substances to reduce drug abuse and diversion. In an analysis of 1,268 drug-caused deaths from January through June 2010 in Florida, the top 3 prescription drugs included the controlled substances oxycodone (56%), alprazolam (35%), and methadone (26%), all of which would be subject to reporting in Florida's PDMP when implemented. Because pharmacists are the health care professionals most affected by PDMP reporting requirements, evaluating their attitudes about PDMP implementation is important. OBJECTIVES: To assess Florida pharmacists' attitudes toward implementing a PDMP in the state. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Florida between February 2010 and June 2010 prior to the implementation of the proposed PDMP. A random sample of 5,000 of approximately 26,000 pharmacists licensed in Florida was invited to participate in a voluntary and anonymous 10-question self-administered mail survey of which 4 survey items assessed pharmacists' attitudes towards implementing a PDMP in the state. RESULTS: Of the 5,000 pharmacists contacted by mail, 911 (18.2%) completed the survey, of whom 836 responded to the items assessing opinions about PDMPs and provided practice site information. A majority of pharmacists across all practice settings agreed or strongly agreed with the statements that a PDMP "should be implemented in Florida" (chain 84.0%, hospital 74.2%, independent 77.9%, and other 71.1%) and that a PDMP would decrease "the incidence of doctor shopping" if implemented (chain 80.8%, hospital 67.2%, independent 71.7%, and other 63.3%). A majority of pharmacists across all practice settings disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statements that they would be "discouraged to dispense controlled substances" by the PDMP (chain 61.4%, hospital 50.0%, independent 60.2%, and other 63.8%) and that PDMP implementation would be "an invasion of patients' privacy" (chain 80.3%, hospital 67.7%, independent 67.3%, and other 69.3%). CONCLUSION: In a small-sample survey, a majority of Florida pharmacists across all practice settings were in favor of implementing a PDMP in Florida. This is the first study to examine Florida pharmacists' attitudes toward PDMP implementation, and the results should prompt future analyses of relevant outcomes, such as drug abuse, drug-related mortality, and doctor shopping.


Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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