As more became known about the dangers and long-term effects of opioids, Maine passed a law that increased prescribing regulations and mandating checking of The Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The PMP is a statewide database that allows prescribers, pharmacists, and other healthcare and public health professionals to see when a patient filled prescriptions for opioid pain relievers in the past.
Using a PMP helps doctors and other healthcare providers in Maine understand if a person may be at risk for adverse prescription drug-related events such as unintentional overdose or Opioid Use Disorder.
The PMP works in two ways:
1. Pharmacists are required to submit information about dispensed controlled substances to Maine’s PMP within one business day of dispensation.
2. Licensed medical prescribers, pharmacists, and others as authorized by law check a patient’s information in the PMP before they prescribe or dispense a controlled substance and every 90 days for as long as that prescription is renewed.
The law that created the PMP also made some prescribing and treatment changes.
Maximum dosage: As of July 2017, the allowable maximum dose of an opioid pain reliever is 100 milligrams of morphine daily, or an equivalent dose of other opioid medications.
Increased monitoring: Close to 30% of people prescribed opioid pain medications on a chronic basis will develop an addiction to these medications, called “Opioid Use Disorder”. Because of heightened concerns about the safety of opioid medications, you may find that your doctor’s office increases their monitoring of opioid medications with regular office visits, prescribing agreements, and tools such as urine tests.