ACOG Committee Opinion 711 addresses opioid use in pregnancy and recommends utilization of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) before prescribing opioids to any patient. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PDMPs (electronic databases that track controlled substance prescriptions) can inform clinical practice and are primary prevention tools for drug abuse/diversion and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). An increasing number of states mandate PDMP use; however, little is known about how specific physician specialties perceive and use PDMPs. The purpose of this study was to query ACOG member perceptions and utilization of their state PDMP.
ACOG District XII Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women distributed a voluntary anonymous email survey to 5,000 ACOG members (adjusted participants n=1,470, minus unread/bounced/opt-out). The survey instrument was developed by an OB/GYN and health services researcher workgroup to assess perceptions and utilization of PDMPs. Adjusted response rate=27% (n=397).
Most (78%) were registered with their PDMP and 52% agreed that ...mandating physician use of the PDMP was a “good idea.” Most respondents agreed that the PDMP is a primary prevention tool for drug abuse/diversion (70%), addiction (68%), and/or doctor shopping (63%), but few agreed that it was an NAS primary prevention tool (22%). Respondents use the PDMP for patients currently using opioids (33%), and for patients suspected of drug abuse (29%). In qualitative responses, some reported frustration with PDMPs.
ACOG members are diverse in their perceptions regarding the utility and purpose of PDMPs. Increased education is needed regarding clinical utility of PDMPs.