Frequently Asked Questions

Who can access information in the system?

The following groups can access the information under PMP law and rule:

  • People authorized to prescribe or dispense controlled substances to provide medical or pharmaceutical care for their patients;
  • An individual who requests their own prescription monitoring information;
  • Health professional licensing, certification or regulatory agency or entity;
  • Local, state and federal law enforcement or prosecutorial officials engaged in an investigation involving a designated person;
  • Medical examiners and coroners for cause of death determination;
  • Authorized practitioners of the Department of Social and Health Services or Health Care Authority regarding Medicaid program recipients;
  • The director or director's designee within the Department of Labor and Industries for workers' compensation claimants;
  • The director or the director's designee within the Department of Corrections for offenders committed to the Department of Corrections;
  • Other entities under grand jury subpoena or court order; and
  • Department personnel for purposes of administration and enforcement of this rule or RCW 69.50.

Public or private entities may get data for statistical, research or educational purposes. They will receive data without information that could be used to identify individual patients, dispensers, prescribers and people who received prescriptions from dispensers.

Am I required to use the PMP?

Engrossed Substitute House Bill (ESHB) 1427 (2017) required the creation and adoption of new prescribing rules. Each board and commission that regulate the prescribing professions created and adopted their own rules. If you have questions as a prescriber about what is or isn't required of you when prescribing controlled substances, you'll need to contact your regulatory board or commission to ensure you get the right answer based on the right set of rules. Here's a good place to start. The HCA also has established requirements for providers. Here is where to find information on their requirements.

Can we delegate authority to request information from Prescription Review?

Yes. A prescriber or pharmacist can delegate the authority to a licensed health professional that works for them (such as a registered nurse, medical assistant, pharmacy technician, or pharmacy assistant). The delegate employee must maintain confidentiality of the information.

Who is required to report data to the Washington PMP?

Law requires licensed pharmacies and practitioners that dispense controlled substances in the state of Washington, or to an address in the state, to electronically report prescription data. Dispensing is defined as providing more than a 24-hour supply of a controlled substance for immediate use. The program does not collect hospital inpatient dispensing data or data from the administration of a controlled substance.

Are there tools to help me?

Yes. In addition to the main Prescription Review website and the WA PMP AWARxE User Support Manual (PDF).

What prescription information is collected?

The Prescription Monitoring Program collects data on Schedules II, III, IV and V controlled substances. For a list of these medications see RCW 69.50.

Information collected includes: the patient's name, address, and date of birth, pharmacy and prescriber information, and specific prescription information. Prescription information includes the drug name and dosage, and the prescribing and dispensing dates.

May we print this information?

Yes. Once PMP patient information (query report) is retrieved it may be added to the patient's record (including electronic health records). The prescriber or pharmacist may also review the information directly with the patient and/or may provide a copy directly to the patient. At times information may be missing from, or may be incorrectly reported to, the PMP. Prescribers and pharmacists who have verified information to be missing or incorrect should report the discrepancy to PMP staff members, following the procedure to Report Missing or Incorrect PMP Data.

What if I find an error in a patient record?

Patients or healthcare providers who believe they have identified an error need to ask the pharmacy or dispenser that submitted the data to correct the error. The pharmacy or dispenser will submit corrections to the system.

What if I suspect system information is accessed or used inappropriately?

Report improper access or disclosure of information in writing to the Department of Health. You should include what information was inappropriately accessed or used, when, by whom and why you consider this action inappropriate. File a Complaint about a Provider or Facility.

What steps should we take if we suspect medication abuse or misuse?
  • Contact the prescriber(s).
  • Explain your concerns. When appropriate, review the PMP report (prescribing and dispensing history) directly with the patient.
  • Decide with the prescriber(s) on a plan of action. This may include talking with other prescribers, sending the patient back to a prescriber, calling the police, or refusing to fill the prescription.
  • Document your activities and decisions made based on the information you've received.
What if a crime has been committed?

If you have reason to believe a crime has been committed, you may have a responsibility to report the crime to the local police. If the crime involved diversion of controlled substances, you may have a responsibility to report to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Review Washington's Uniform Disciplinary Act (UDA) and requirements of your specific licensing authority to ensure you understand expectations in this difficult situation.

Can I get a copy of my own prescription information?

Yes. You may contact program staff members by email or 360-236-4806 to receive information on how to request your own information.