Prescription drug-monitoring program updated

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday signed a bill updating the prescription drug-monitoring program originally created in 2007.

The bill brings the program up to national standards aimed at decreasing “doctor-shopping” and reducing prescription drug abuse.

The changes were recommended by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, which conducted more than a year of research before suggesting the changes.

The prescription drug-monitoring program will help alert prescribers and pharmacists to doctor-shopping, which is the practice of seeing multiple doctors without telling them about each other. This can be dangerous because patients can be prescribed conflicting or duplicate drugs.

The changes will make it easier for pharmacists to use the program in a practice setting, according to a release from the Colorado Division of Regulatory Agencies.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States and in Colorado, according to DORA. In 2012, more than twice as many people died from opioid pain killer overdose than from drunken driving-related crashes.

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Molly Armbrister covers real estate, banking and health care for the Northern Colorado Business Report. She can be reached at 970-232-3139, or

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