Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffery Talbert


The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. In addition to other system level interventions, almost all states have responded to the crisis by implementing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). PDMPs are state-level interventions that track the dispensing of Controlled Substances. Data generated at the time of medication dispensing is uploaded to a central data server that may be used to assist in identifying drug diversion, medication misuse, or potentially aberrant prescribing practices.

Prior studies assessing the impact of PDMPs on trends in opioid-related morbidity have often failed to take into account the wide heterogeneity of program features and how the effectiveness of these features may be mitigated by insurance status. Previous research has also failed to differentiate the effects of these programs on prescription vs. illicit opioid-related morbidity. The studies in this dissertation attempt to address these gaps using epidemiological techniques to examine the associations between specific PDMP features and trends in prescription and illicit opioid-related poisonings in populations of different insurance beneficiaries.

Results of these studies demonstrate that implementation of specific PDMP features is significantly associated with differential trends in prescription and illicit-opioid related poisonings and that the effectiveness of these features vary depending on the insurance status of the population studied. These results suggest that PDMPs offer a valuable tool in addressing the United States’ opioid epidemic, and may be used as empirical evidence to support PDMP best practices in the future.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)