Issues: Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
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Colorado Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Colorado is one of a handful of states with a state-wide prescription drug monitoring program designed to allow prescribers to access information and identify an individual that they may have concerns about. Retail dispensers (not individual prescribers) of medications are required to upload information to a state database on a monthly basis. The information is cross referenced by Name, Address, Phone Number, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, etc. to allow identification of individuals who may be “Doc shopping” in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for drugs.

While veterinarians are not required to report anything, they can use PDMP (for example) when they have potential suspicions or concerns that a client may be seeking prescription medications for a pet on a more frequent basis than needed for the pet, thus potentially diverting the medication to some other use. Being able to access the database to see other medications that have been prescribed to this individual can either allay or reinforce the suspicions held by the veterinarian and thus shape an appropriate response to the medication request.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Website
The website was created to complement other websites focused on Colorado’s prescription drug use and abuse epidemic, as well as other statewide efforts at the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The website centralizes key regulatory information, and is a resource for providers and consumers when they have questions about the PDMP.  You may contact the PDMP staff at 303.894.5957 or . 


The Importance of Understanding What is Required of You When Administering, Distributing, Dispensing, or Prescribing Prescription Drugs

The State Board of Veterinary Medicine (Board) has reviewed several cases and fielded multiple questions surrounding the subject of prescriptions—ranging from acts requiring registration as a wholesaler with the State Board of Pharmacy to the responsibilities of a licensed veterinarian when prescribing medication for a patient. After engaging in numerous discussions in the area of prescription drugs being administered, distributed, dispensed, or prescribed by licensed veterinarians, it is clear to the Board that there is potentially widespread misunderstanding and miscommunication of the legal requirements governing licensees when engaged in such acts.

Provided by DORA, this document, which was written in collaboration with the State Board of Pharmacy as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, covers prescription requirements for licensed veterinarians in the state of Colorado in great detail and attempts to provide guidance and clarity in better understanding your roles and responsibilities. The document is posted here (click link above) in its entirety and also on the main page of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine website at Please take the time to download the complete piece.  It is imperative that each licensee understand the current requirements, keep informed and abreast of upcoming changes, and whenever possible participate in the process for further clarifying requirements into Board Rules and Policies.


Top Tips for Prescribing in Practice

The AVMA has released the following tips on prescribing medications to help you in your practice. They're full of valuable information and member resources generated by the AVMA and other organizations.


And finally ...


  • Compound appropriately.
    Refer to the
    new brochure developed by the Animal Health Institute, the American Veterinary Distributors Association and the AVMA.

And one more thing, make sure to check the AVMA website at on a regular basis for even more valuable tips related to how you practice veterinary medicine.


FAQs: Veterinary Prescriptions and Pharmacies

The AVMA receives many questions from pet owners and veterinarians about veterinary prescriptions and pharmacies. To help answer these questions, the AVMA has developed an FAQ on the subject, addressing such issues as why prescriptions are needed, and where pet owners can get their prescriptions filled.


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