Module 1: Professional Accountability and Prescribing

Lesson 3

Prescription Monitoring Programs (cont’d)

In October 2014, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) released the report Narcotics, Benzodiazepines, Stimulants, and Gabapentin: Policies, Initiatives, and Practices Across Canada, 2014. Table 1 provides a review of PMPs and their features across jurisdictions in Canada as of February 2014. There are commonalities among the types of drugs monitored, although not all controlled medications are captured in all existing PMPs. Two challenges were identified with the existing programs: at present, the individual PMPs do not communicate or connect with each other across jurisdictions; and there is no evaluation mechanism in place to assess the effectiveness of the programs in reducing misuse and diversion of controlled drugs and substances.

Furlan et al.’s 2014 article, Overview of four prescription monitoring/review programs in Canada, provides background on the benefits of PMPs and compares four established programs in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.