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Purdue 2018: Veterinarians and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs


Veterinary participation in Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is suboptimal; new laws are set to change that.

inspect indiana logo

According to Kara Slusser, director of the Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection and Tracking (INSPECT) program, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Indianapolis, 49 states now have prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).

Presenting at the 2018 Purdue Veterinary Conference, which was held on the Purdue University campus, Ms. Slusser explained that these programs are “statewide electronic databases that collect, store, and analyze information on controlled substances dispensed in each state.” Although individual states’ PDMPs vary, they follow similar standards, she noted.


  • FDA Warns Veterinarians of Opioid Misuse By Pet Owners
  • Pets, Vets, and Opioids

Because of the high societal and financial costs associated with opioid abuse, state PDMPs such as the INSPECT program are designed to serve as tools to address the problem of prescription drug abuse. Prescribers, pharmacists, and law enforcement officers can access the data, she added, and these programs especially aim to reduce problems such as “doctor shopping,” fraudulent prescribing, and inappropriate prescription drug use.

PDMPs collect such data as patient information, prescriber information, and dispenser information pertaining to dispensing of all Schedule II, III, IV, or V controlled substances, Ms. Slusser said.

Highlighting the INSPECT program in Indiana, she indicated that licensed dispensers throughout the state, as well as out-of-state (nonresident) pharmacies licensed to dispense drugs in Indiana, must submit controlled substance prescription data to INSPECT every 24 hours (or on the next business day).

Nevertheless, she noted that uptake of the program among dispensers of controlled substances remains suboptimal. Only 67% of prescribing physicians in Indiana are currently using it, she said.

And, so far, only 102 veterinarians out of more than 16,000 veterinarians in the state with a controlled substance registration (CSR) are using it.

However, new legislation will soon begin to affect how veterinarians with a CSR in Indiana will prescribe controlled substances. “Indiana is a mandatory-use state that requires all health care practitioners to register for INSPECT,” Ms. Slusser said.

By October 15, 2019, veterinarians with CSRs will need to complete continuing education on opioid prescribing and potential abuse to renew their CSRs. Starting January 1, 2019, veterinarians must also be certified to receive information from INSPECT. And starting January 1, 2021, veterinarians will be required to obtain information about a patient from the PMPD database before prescribing an opioid or benzodiazepine.

Ms. Slusser advised veterinarians to pay careful attention when adding prescription information to the database, to avoid introducing errors and inconsistencies that produce an inadequate image of the controlled substances a patient is receiving. INSPECT requires veterinarians to use a consistent approach, she emphasized, by entering the pet’s name and species together (but as separate words), the owner’s last name, and the owner’s date of birth. For example:

  • Pet’s first name and species: Maggie Feline
  • Owner’s last name: Parry
  • Owner’s date of birth: 12/27/1968

Some states also allow veterinarians to access a PDMP report for any person who brings an animal to a clinic, Ms. Slusser said. However, this option is not yet possible in Indiana, so veterinarians in this state can access PDMP data for only the animal, she concluded.

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