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Texas Prescription Monitoring Program: What You Should Know

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program is one of the tools that law enforcement uses to help reduce the number of illegal prescription drugs available on the market. There are several types of drug offenses, but prescription drug possession is one of the most pervasive types. Here is what you should know about the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program.

What is the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program?

The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program, sometimes referred to by its acronym PMP, is responsible for collecting prescription data for controlled substances. Whether you fill a prescription at a pharmacy in Texas or you are a Texas resident that fills a prescription in another state, information about you and the prescription is sent to a database no later than the next business day after you fill the prescription. This provides healthcare providers and pharmacists access to your prescription history, so they will be able to see if you are frequently prescribed controlled substances.

Changes to the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program in 2019

On September 1, 2019, a new Texas law requires physicians to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program database for evidence of doctor shopping or the overuse of certain medications before prescribing medications. The restricted medications include:

  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Carisoprodol

The rule applies to your regular primary care physician and psychiatrist, as well as any other medical providers that might be able to prescribe medications. This includes ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals, urgent care clinics, and dentists. This will help to close any loopholes that patients are able to use to get these medications without triggering suspicion from medical providers. Doctors who do not do comply with these laws will face consequences.

This is a big change in prescription protocols. Currently, it is recommended that providers check the PMP database for new patients that take controlled substances, patients that request early refills of controlled substances, or patients they suspect of prescription drug misuse. Now providers will need to check the PMP database for all patients using these medications, which will need to be documented in patient charts.

Changes to the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program in 2020

On March 1, 2020, the laws surrounding the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program will change in that both pharmacists and prescribers will be legally required to check your prescription history in the PMP database before prescribing or dispensing certain controlled medications.

The changes reflect a stricter stance on the prescribing of these medications. While pharmacists have been encouraged to check the PMP to try to reduce illegal prescription drug usage, they have not been required to. Some pharmacists and prescribers could overlook the data in the PMP if they were busy or didn’t feel the need to check the PMP for that specific patient. However, this changes in 2020, as they will now need to check the PMP for each patient before prescribing or dispensing these medications.

What This Means for You

For most people, the changes won’t impact their lives in any significant way. However, for those individuals who try to shop doctors to get prescriptions of controlled substances, the changes in the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program increases the chance of being caught. It will also make it more difficult for those trying to abuse the system to get prescriptions of controlled substances.

Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in the United States. The state of Texas does not take doctor shopping or illegal prescription drug possession lightly. It is a felony in Texas, which can lead to jail time for prescription drugs. If you find yourself facing criminal charges related to illegal prescription drug possession, you need a skilled and experienced drug offense attorney.

With 6 years of experience as a Harris County prosecutor and 11 years of experience representing clients in a variety of family, domestic, and criminal cases, past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association, Andrea Kolski, has the background you need to win your case. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Nonstop Justice today at 832-381-3430.

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