Oklahoma is inching closer to joining the small number of states that require physicians to check the prescription drug monitoring database in a given state prior to writing certain prescriptions. This isn't a mere reporting requirement; this is a requirement to consult the database and document the results in the medical record prior to writing a script (see section E on page 4 of the bill text).
Oklahoma Senate Bill 1821 has successfully passed through a senate committee and now heads to the full senate. The governor's office issued a press release on this, so I'm assuming the bill has a solid chance of ending up on Governor Fallin's desk.
Should she sign the bill into law, Oklahoma would join Kentucky, New York, Tennessee, and Massachusetts as the only states that require doctors to consult the database prior to writing prescriptions for pain management medications. Like in similar legislation elsewhere, SB 1821 creates exemptions for hospice and other end-of-life care situations. Further, the bill prohibits lawsuits against physicians for not checking the database. While a patient couldn't sue a doctor for not checking the database, the doctor would still be in violation of the law and subject to sanctions, prosecution, punishment, etc.
Mandating that pharmacies report prescription drug data into the PDMP is a start. Mandating that physicians sign up as users of the PDMP is a step. But mandating that doctors utilize the PDMP before they write a script and mandating they include evidence of database consultation as part of the patient medical record is the key to successful implementation of a PDMP program.
Otherwise, it's just data sitting in a database.
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