New York’s Prescription Monitoring Program

Since the Drug Enforcement Agency legalized electronically prescribed controlled substances in 2010 following passage of the of Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) interim final rule in 2010, the number of e-prescriptions for controlled substances has been on the rise. Controlled substances account for about 12 percent of all prescriptions, so the ability of physicians to e-prescribe them with confidence is a key component to the success of all e-prescribing efforts.

New York State is prepared to go one step further, by requiring physicians to e-prescribe all prescriptions and to monitor patient prescriptions to prevent abuse via the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry (PMP). Under the state’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act , most prescribers are required to use the registry as of August 27, 2013, and after a recent extension e-prescribing will be required for all prescriptions starting on March 27, 2016. For pharmacies, the I-STOP law requires real-time reporting to the PMP when filling prescriptions for controlled substances.

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Here's How it Works:

Each prescriber and authorized designee(s) must have his or her own individual HCS account to gain access to the PMP.

The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Registry is intended as a tool for the physician to use to determine if a controlled substance e-prescription is appropriate. It remains up to the physician’s discretion whether to write a controlled substance e-prescription.

A licensed professional can create an account by visiting, while a designee may apply for access at and click on ‘User’ for access. Practitioners or their designees are required under the rules of the program whenever a Schedule II, III or IV drug is going to be prescribed.

The patient reports will include all electronically prescribed controlled substances dispensed by pharmacies in New York State over the past six months. Prescribers were required to begin consulting the registry in August 2013, though they may designate someone to consult the registry on their behalf. The physician is allowed to share the registry results with the patient, but is not required to do so. New York State recommends that the physician use clinical judgment.

There is no cost to the physician to use the registry, and New York State’s instructions for how to use the registry make clear that just because a patient’s name appears in the prescription drug registry, it doesn’t mean that the patient is a doctor shopper. It just means that the patient received a controlled substance prescription within the past six months.

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Exceptions: Practitioners are not required to consult the registry when the patient is on hospice, or when writing a five-day supply of a controlled substance from the emergency department. The registry must be consulted when a five-day supply for a controlled substance is written in most other settings, such as the physician practice.

If a power outage renders the physician unable to access the registry, a controlled substance prescription may be written, but it must be logged by the physician in the chart that the registry was not consulted because the technology was not available.

When the physician suspects that the patient is doctor shopping or has diverted a controlled substance, then the physician can use a link at the bottom of the patient’s drug list to report a discrepancy. When the patient claims to be the victim of identity theft, the physician is instructed to guide the patient to file a police report.

For more information, New York’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement provides a lengthy FAQ document on its site.


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