PDMP Use to Become Mandatory for Many South Carolina Doctors

Starting April 1, 2016, doctors in South Carolina who wish to bill Medicaid or the state’s health plan for services will be required to check the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database for patient medical history and past prescription information. The measure is being implemented as a way to help remedy the state’s prescription painkiller misuse and abuse issues. The new rule will affect the majority of South Carolina doctors; approximately one million residents use Medicaid, and the state health plan covers more than 460,000 people including public employees, retirees, their spouses and dependents.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York and Tennessee undertook similar measures in 2012, and the number of patients seeing multiple providers for the same drugs in those states dropped 75 percent and 36 percent, respectively. The CDC report ranked South Carolina as the 11th highest prescriber of painkillers in the country, with 102 prescriptions for every 100 residents.

South Carolina will be the 30 state to require providers or pharmacists to access the state PDMP in certain situations, with Nevada being the first in 2007. All states except Missouri now have some form of a PDMP database according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws.

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