By Bob Macdonald, Florida PDMP Foundation Executive Director
As a licensed dentist, have you registered to use the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database yet? Florida’s version of the nationwide program is called the Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation, better known as E-FORCSE. The database allows dentists to:
- review complex prescribing for the elderly.
- guarantee new prescriptions will not negatively interact with existing prescriptions from other prescribers.
- confirm that patients do not need additional medicines or increased dosages to prevent unknown over-prescribing.
- prevent unknown over-prescribing, which will reduce excess prescription drugs in medicine cabinets — the highest source of prescription drug diversion.
- detect doctor-shopping, which may stop potential addiction and selling of drugs.
The state’s PDMP went into effect in 2009. Under the law establishing the program, all dispensers of Scheduled II-V drugs must enter prescription information in the database within seven days or it is a misdemeanor. The majority of dispensers under the law are pharmacists, although there are still some dispensing practitioners operating in Florida. Besides pharmacists, the law also allows for all licensed medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, dentists, podiatric physicians, ARNPs, physician assistants and optometrists to access the database for free to review patient information before prescribing any controlled substances for pain management. Law enforcement agencies also may access the database when investigating an active case of drug abuse or diversion.
Of a potential of 148,000 licensed Florida practitioners, about 30,000 have registered to use the database. Only about 700 dentists are signed up to access E-FORCSE, which is about 6 percent of all licensed dentists.
To date, the database has collected more than 130 million prescription records and is receiving about three million a month. E-FORCSE users have made more than 12 million queries for information. Of this total, dentists have made more than 12,000 contacts for records.
If you have a DEA license and regularly prescribe pain medication to patients, you should consider using the PDMP as part of your practice management office policy. To register to use the database, visit the program’s website under the Department of Health at www.e-forcse.com.