Law Enforcement Perceptions of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Programme

Sarah E. Wixson, Karen Blumenschein, Amie Goodin, George E. Higgins, Gennaro F. Vito, Jeffery Talbert, Patricia R. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In an effort to address the problem of prescription drug abuse and diversion in the USA, States have implemented prescription drug monitoring programmes (PDMPs) to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. For PDMPs to meet their objectives, law enforcement officials must be able to access the information contained within reports. This study provides a descriptive analysis of opinions held by Kentucky law enforcement officials regarding the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) system, the State's PDMP. Surveys designed to elicit perceptions regarding the effectiveness of KASPER were emailed to all 1,119 Kentucky law enforcement officials with a KASPER account; responses were received from 340 (response rate 30.4 per cent). Of these, 306 responses were included in the analysis. Most (65 per cent) respondents indicated that they had utilised a KASPER report in the month prior to survey participation with a median of three reports utilised (interquartile range (IQR): 2–5). Overall, law enforcement officials perceive KASPER to be an effective tool with which to reduce drug abuse and diversion (92 per cent; n = 280) and doctor shopping (89 per cent; n = 269) in Kentucky. Results indicate that Kentucky law enforcement officials utilise KASPER reports as part of their investigations and view KASPER as an effective tool to reduce drug abuse/diversion and doctor shopping within the State. Further studies exploring the characteristics of law enforcement users of PDMPs and key PDMP features that aid prescription drug diversion and doctor shopping investigations may assist in developing strategies to increase the effectiveness of PDMPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 SAGE Publications.


  • controlled substances
  • prescription drug diversion
  • prescription drug monitoring programme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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