Massachusetts Medical Society: Public Health Council Approves Regulations for Prescription Monitoring Program

Public Health Council Approves Regulations for Prescription Monitoring Program


The Massachusetts Public Health Council has approved final regulations on utilization of the prescription monitoring program (PMP) as required by laws passed in 2013. The regulations took effect Dec. 5, 2014.

PMP participants must utilize the PMP prior to prescribing: a narcotic in schedule II or III or a benzodiazepine to a patient for the first time.

If you are not yet enrolled as a PMP participant, these requirements do not yet apply to you.

    To utilize the PMP means to access the PMP database review a patient’s prescription history.


    The regulations allow prescribers to designate delegates to access on the database on their behalf.  Read an overview and download the delegate application forms (.pdf). DPH is sponsoring informational webinars (.doc) in March and April.


    • Hospice patients
    • Emergency Department personnel writing for fewer than five days’ supply of narcotics or benzodiazepines
    • Emergency care where use of the PMP will likely result in patient harm
    • All inpatient services
    • The provision of medication for immediate treatment
    • Instances when it is not possible to use the PMP such as when the system is down or where the prescriber is practicing at a site outside their control without current access to the internet.
    • Prescriptions for patients under the age of 96 months
    • Prescribers with waivers

    Waivers for technological limitations “within the control of the participants” may only be granted on the promise that the limitation will be rectified within six months. Other waivers are extremely limited and outside the control of the prescriber.

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