The Arizona Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP) has been in effect for over a decade. It is the standard of care and best practice to ensure your patients are receiving appropriate and safe medications. It has proven to be one of the most promising state-level interventions to improve opioid prescribing, inform clinical practice, and protect patients at risk.
However, there is escalating attention by policymakers and regulators on the low utilization rates of the CSPMP as required by law. More than half of prescribers who prescribed an opioid analgesic or a benzodiazepine in the prior month did not check the CSPMP. If this trend continues, the Arizona Medical Association is concerned there will be legislative or other policy interventions implemented to address the issue. If you have not done so already, we strongly urge you to integrate routine checking of the CSPMP into your clinical practice.
The legal requirements for prescribers to utilize the CSPMP can be found in Arizona Revised Statutes 36-2606, which requires that before prescribing an opioid analgesic or benzodiazepine controlled substance listed in Schedule II, III, or IV to a patient, prescribers shall obtain a utilization report from the CSPMP regarding the patient for the preceding twelve months at the beginning of each new course of treatment and at least quarterly while that prescription remains a part of the treatment. There are some exceptions, e.g. prescriptions for hospice patients, etc., so please refer to the statute for more information.
There are several resources available to help you use the CSPMP and understand your prescribing requirements under Arizona law. Please consult the Arizona Board of Pharmacy website pharmacypmp.az.gov for informative videos on CSPMP registration and usage. Also, for information about Arizona’s opioid prescribing laws, visit www.AzRxEd.org to view a free CME program for healthcare professionals that provides the latest information about Arizona’s opioid laws and regulations, prescribing guidelines, and treatment options for opioid use disorder. The ArMA staff is also available to help you should you have any questions. If you are among those not utilizing the CSPMP, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the law and the program and incorporate it into your practice now, before enforcement efforts are increased.