Florida and Colorado Attend to Opioid Crisis through Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

This week, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 21 as part of efforts to mitigate the opioid crisis. Some provisions expand the use of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), including a requirement that a physician or their staff member reviews a patients’ PDMP history before prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance, in part to avoid excessive prescriptions from multiple health care providers. 

The bill authorizes direct access to the PDMP for Veterans’ Affairs and Indian Health Service providers who prescribe or dispense controlled substances and authorizes the Florida Department of Health to share and exchange PDMP data with other states under certain conditions. It also permits the PDMP to interface with electronic health record (EHR) systems. Learn more here.

In addition, Colorado introduced a new bill requiring prescribers to use the state’s PDMP to learn about a patient’s prescribing history as well as requiring the PDMP to allow direct access from EHRs. 


Over the last 16 years, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths has consistently increased and on average, 115 Americans die every day from an overdose. Governors across the country have set this issue at the top of their agenda in 2018, reflected in a HIMSS analysis of State of the State addresses. HIMSS supports the requirements that physicians utilize PDMPs as well as the idea of allowing states to share information across their borders. HIMSS is actively tracking opioid and PDMP-related bills and legislation across all US states and territories and is engaged with state and local officials and HIMSS Chapter Advocates on this issue.