Evaluating the impact of prescription drug monitoring program implementation: A scoping review

Erin P. Finley, Ashley Garcia, Kristen Rosen, Don McGeary, Mary Jo Pugh, Jennifer Sharpe Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Background: Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) have been implemented in 49 out of 50 states in an effort to reduce opioid-related misuse, abuse, and mortality, yet the literature evaluating the impact of PDMP implementation remains limited. We conducted a scoping review to: (1) describe available evidence regarding impact of PDMPs in the U.S.; and (2) propose a conceptual model to inform future PDMP implementation and evaluation efforts. Methods: Scoping systematic review following Arksey and O'Malley's (2005) methodology. We identified 11 relevant studies based on inclusion criteria using a PubMed database search of English-language studies published 1/1/2000-5/31/16. Data were extracted and thematic analysis conducted to synthesize results. Results: Extant evidence for the impact of PDMPs as an opioid risk mitigation tool remains mixed. Thematic analysis revealed four domains of opioid-related outcomes frequently examined in original studies evaluating PDMP implementation: (1) opioid prescribing; (2) opioid diversion and supply; (3) opioid misuse; and (4) opioid-related morbidity and mortality. An evaluation framework incorporating these domains is presented that highlights significant gaps in empirical research across each of these domains. Conclusions: Evidence for the impact of state-level PDMPs remains mixed. We propose a conceptual model for evaluating PDMP implementation toward the goals of clarifying PDMP mechanisms of impact, identifying characteristics of PDMPs associated with best outcomes, and maximizing the utility of PDMP policy and implementation to reduce opioid-related public health burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number420
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017


  • Evaluation
  • Health policy
  • Opioid Risk Mitigation
  • Prescription Monitoring Program
  • Scoping Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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