The past few years have seen quite a few states introduce statutes and regulations that would implement prescription monitoring programs. These programs are designed to allow prescribers and dispensers to input and receive accurate and timely controlled substance prescription history. While states vary in regards to what information must be provided to the central database, most states require the date the prescription was dispensed, the name of the patient and the prescriber, and the name and amount of the controlled substance.
At issue, is whether or not veterinarians should be included in such a program. As it stands, 17 states require veterinarians to report, and 15 states exempt veterinarians under most circumstances. Louisiana is the most recent state to adopt language exempting veterinarians from the program. Louisiana Senate Bill 187, adopted on May 23, 2013, specifically provides that the Prescription Monitoring Program does not apply to those licensed as a veterinarian.
What are your thoughts on this? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in requiring veterinarians to report to a central prescription monitoring database?