by By Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations

A new law – as well as other enhancements to Colorado’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) – will increase functionality and usefulness of the program for clinical care and bring Colorado’s PDMP up to best practices already in place in other states, making it easier than ever for busy prescribers to use.

The PDMP provides prescribers and pharmacists a secure database with immediate access to their patients’ history of controlled substance prescriptions. Prescribers and pharmacists can view objective information concerning the controlled substances dispensed to a patient, helping them to make more informed decisions when considering prescribing or dispensing these powerful medications to patients.

PDMP Account Registration is the Law. The new law (HB 1283) requires PDMP account registration by Colorado-licensed pharmacists and prescribers who are registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for prescribing controlled substances. The affected prescribers include:

  • Dentists
  • Nurses with Prescriptive Authority
  • Optometrists
  • Physicians and Physician Assistants
  • Podiatrists
  • Veterinarians

The deadlines for affected pharmacists and prescribers to register their accounts are staggered this fall based on license renewals. Advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and veterinarians should have all registered by now. Physicians and physician assistants must register by Nov. 30, 2014.

Additional Changes. The law included other changes in the PDMP, including:

  • Push Notices: Starting in October 2014, prescribers and pharmacies will receive “push notices” when a patient to whom they have prescribed fills prescriptions for controlled substances from multiple sources and in potentially harmful quantities. The information may assist the practitioner in delivering optimal care to the patient, including assessing possible drug misuse or diversion. The report should be interpreted by the practitioner in the context of a complete patient assessment.
  • Delegated Account Access: To make it easier for prescribers and pharmacists to get the information they need to provide the best care for their patients, they will be able to assign sub-accounts to up to three members of their healthcare team. To do so, the prescriber or pharmacist must have a registered account. This feature will be in place beginning January 2015.

More Enhancements to the PDMP. In addition to the new law, improvements are being made to make the PDMP more usable and functional. An extensive update will make the interface more intuitive with fewer “clicks” to retrieve patient information.  The update will also include new functionality, including the ability to recover a forgotten username or password; to view all of the searches performed by the user’s account within a certain timeframe; and to view all of the user’s available reports in one spot.

Additionally, pharmacies are required to upload dispensing data every day starting October 2014. This change will give prescribers and pharmacists more immediate, timely data and make the PDMP that much more current and useful.

For More Information. To register an account and use the PDMP, visit or for general questions and information call 303-894-5957 or email For technical questions about using the PDMP, call 855-263-6403 or  Practitioners can find additional guidance in the Policy for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids at and patients can obtain a copy of their medical information contained in PDMP by completing a form at

Categories: Communications, ASAP, Initiatives, Prescription Drug Abuse, Patient Safety and Professional Accountability