Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Mission Statement: To ensure integrity in the health care community by providing prescribers and pharmacies with information on their patients to assure the legitimate use of controlled substances and to enhance the capacity of regulatory and enforcement agencies to collect and analyze controlled substances prescription data by building a data collection and analysis system.
The Guam Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (GPDMP) is the prescription monitoring program for the Territory of Guam. Prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) use a central computerized database to collect, monitor, and analyze data on dispensed Schedule II-V controlled substances.
Pharmacists, physicians, and other authorized users of the PMP may request a confidential report that shows all scheduled controlled substance prescriptions a patient has had for a specified period of time, as well as the physician who prescribed them and the dispenser who dispensed them.
A PMP is intended as a source of information for pharmacists and practitioners in the treatment and care of their patients, as well as a tool to detect and prevent the misuse, abuse, and diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances at the pharmacy, prescriber, and patient levels. A PMP, however, is not intended to interfere with the legitimate prescribing, dispensing, or acquiring of pharmaceutical controlled substances.
The Guam Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (GPDMP) was established pursuant to Title 9, Guam Code Annotated, Chapter 67, “Guam Uniform Controlled Substances Act,” which mandates the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) to administer this Act to regulate the manufacture, distribution and dispensing of pharmaceutical controlled substances.
In 2002, Congress appropriated funding to the U.S. Department of Justice to support Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) across the nation. In 2008, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) applied for and was awarded funding under the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program grant, through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, to implement the Guam Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. In 2009, DPHSS applied for and was awarded a second Harold Rogers implementation grant. These grant funds and the GPDMP are administered by DPHSS’ Division of Environmental Health (DEH).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Prescription Monitoring Program?
A Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), also referred to as Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), is a tool to help promote the public health and welfare by detecting and preventing misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescription drugs categorized as scheduled controlled substances. PMPs collect, monitor, and analyze electronically transmitted data on controlled substances that are dispensed by pharmacies and practitioners.
The PMP data assists health care professionals and pharmacists to provide patients the appropriate treatment, and better care in managing their prescriptions. The data also assists health care professionals and law enforcement in identifying substance abuse, “doctor shopping,” prescription fraud, and other illegal activity involving diversion. Depending on state law, authorized persons such as health care professionals, law enforcement, and regulatory boards can have access to the PMP data.
The medical need for, and legitimate use and prescribing of controlled substances is recognized; therefore, PMPs do not prevent patients from obtaining the needed drugs, nor do they prevent practitioners from prescribing or dispensing controlled substances, so long as they are acting in good faith and in their ordinary course of profession.
What is the definition of a controlled substance?
Controlled substances are drugs that are regulated by state or federal laws that control the risk of abuse, addiction, physical and mental harm, the trafficking by illegal means, and the dangers from actions of those who have used the substances. Such drugs may be declared illegal for sale or use, but may be dispensed under a physician’s prescription. Controlled substances are listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V as defined in the Guam Uniform Controlled Substances Act, as well as the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
What is the definition of Schedule?
Schedule is a classification system that categorizes drugs by their potential for abuse, which comprises five categories referred to as Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V.
Schedule I: High potential for abuse; no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and lacks accepted safety use under medical supervision. Substances include, for example, hallucinogenic substances, heroin and certain other opioids, and methaqualone. Substances are not for prescription use, but may be used for research, instructional purposes, and chemical analysis purposes.
Schedule II: High potential for abuse; currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted use with severe restrictions; and abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Substances include, for example, opium, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, fentanyl, methadone, amphetamine, methamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, amobarbital, pentobarbital, and glutethimide. Written prescription required, except in an emergency following certain guidelines. Prescription cannot be filled after 7 days of issuance date, and no refills allowed.
Schedule III: Potential for abuse less than the substances included in Schedules I and II; currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and abuse of the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Substances include, for example, combinations of codeine and aspirin or acetaminophen, and certain sedative drugs. Written or oral prescriptions required. Prescriptions are valid for 6 months from issuance date.
Schedule IV: Low potential for abuse relative to substances included in Schedule III; currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to substances included in Schedule III. Substances include, for example, benzodiazepines, phenobarbital, propoxyphene, and certain sedative drugs. Written or oral prescriptions required. Prescriptions are valid for 6 months from issuance date.
Schedule V: Low potential for abuse relative to substances included in Schedule IV; currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and abuse of the substance may lead to physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the substances included in Schedule IV. Substances may be distributed or dispensed only for a medical purpose, including medical treatment or authorized research.
What is diversion?
Diversion is the transfer of a controlled substance from a lawful to an unlawful channel of distribution or use.
Which controlled substances are monitored by PMPs?
PMPs monitor controlled substances that are defined by State and Federal Controlled Substances Laws, as determined by state law. A majority of PMPs monitor Schedules II-V that contain opioids (i.e., pain relievers) such as oxycodone (e.g., Percocet®) and hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin®), tranquilizers such as diazepam (e.g., Valium®) and alprazolam (e.g., Xanax®), stimulants such as amphetamine (e.g., Adderall®) and methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin®), and sedatives such as triazolam (e.g., Halcion®) and zolpidem tartrate (e.g., Ambien®), as well as drugs of concern such as carisoprodol (e.g., Soma®).
What is “doctor shopping”?
“Doctor shopping” refers to an individual visiting several doctors, whether or not for a legitimate medical purpose, and receiving a prescription for a controlled substance from each doctor. The individual then goes to several pharmacies to fill the prescriptions receiving more than intended, usually to support an addiction.