A television station's analysis has found that thousands of Minnesota doctors and other medical professionals aren't complying with a law requiring them to create an account with the state's Prescription Monitoring Program.
The program allows doctors to check patients' prescription history and aims to make it more difficult for people to obtain large amounts of painkillers. State law requires participation from medical professionals registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
But more than 5,000 doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other medical professionals failed to register with the program by July, KSTP-TV reported . The television station obtained data from the DEA through a public records request and compared the information with the state monitoring program.
The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, one of the regulatory boards enforcing the law, doesn't know which doctors haven't registered because it doesn't have the ability to obtain and maintain DEA registrations, said Ruth Martinez, executive director of the medical board.
Martinez said the board doesn't plan to seek out non-compliant doctors and will focus on any complaints it may receive. Going on a "fishing expedition" would take time away from the other important work the board does, she said.
The board encourages doctors to create an account when they renew their medical license, but the board won't stop doctors from renewing if they don't enroll in the program, she said.
The Minnesota Board of Dentistry is working with the DEA to create a way to monitor registrations, said Bridgett Anderson, executive director of the dentistry board. She said the group is working to increase sign-ups and compliance.