California’s prescription drug monitoring program is not effective in curbing prescription drug abuse, because enrollment in the program is optional, and funding for the program is drying up, according to The New York Times.
Of the more than 165,000 physicians and pharmacists statewide, only 1,216 pharmacists and 6,755 doctors are signed up to use the prescription drug monitoring system, the article notes. There is little money or staffing for California’s program, after Governor Brown cut $71 million from the state’s Department of Justice budget.
Users of the system complain it is slow and difficult to use, and cannot analyze data systematically. “It’s hit or miss,” said Dr. Richard Gracer, who runs a pain management clinic. “Once in a while it’s slow. Sometimes it gives the wrong answers. If the amount of doctors who should be using it signed up, it would probably die right away.”