July 21, 2017

MPH Student Presents Grand Rounds at Arkansas Department of Health

AR PMPJonathan Aram, MPH student and epidemiologist at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), presented at ADH grand rounds July 6 on the Arkansas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).

The PMP is a database that collects and stores prescribing and dispensing data for controlled substances and other drugs specified by Arkansas law. Aram, along with Denise Robertson, PMP Administrator, discussed how far the program has come since it was established by Act 304 in 2011.

Pharmacies input prescriptions for controlled substances into the system. Doing this allows the prescriber to see how many times an individual has filled a prescription. Since implementation in 2013, the PMP has been voluntary, but that will change in the fall when prescribers will be required to check the PMP before prescribing certain drugs.

PMP authorized users include pharmacists, physicians, advanced practice nurses, optometrists, dentists, law enforcement, and licensing board members.

Despite a recent reduction in the number of prescriptions written, per captita, opioid use in Arkansas remains high.

Along with an increase in prescribing, Arkansas has seen rising drug overdose death rates beginning in the late 1990’s. Drug overdose deaths occur more frequently among non-Hispanic whites, adults with low educational attainment and people living in certain counties in Arkansas.

For more information, visit http://www.arkansaspmp.com/.