Update June 19:
Initially, all Texas prescribers had until Sept. 1 to set up a PMP Aware account. However, thanks to TMA advocacy, lawmakers recently passed a bill that pushed back that deadline to March 1, 2020. House Bill 3284 – by Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville) – was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 14.
The Texas Medical Association has received several inquiries from physicians concerned about an email they received Friday from the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP) telling them they have 72 hours to register for an account that has been automatically set up for them.
The email, which was sent around 5 p.m. Friday, told physicians to complete the registration by clicking a link that, for “security purposes,” will expire at 5 p.m. Monday.
Physicians were concerned that was possibly a phishing scam or some other attempt to steal their identity.
TMA can confirm that the emails and PMP account are indeed legitimate; however, there is no deadline to register.
As Texas Medicine Today reported in January, an account with the PMP Aware program allows physicians to check a patient's prescription history for information that indicates illicit activity, drug abuse, drug diversion, and doctor-shopping. It also allows you to receive notifications when the PMP system finds evidence of such practices.
The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) creates each account automatically, based on information it receives from state prescriber-overseeing boards such as the Texas Medical Board. However, each prescriber must manually finalize his or her user account.
B.J. Slack, PMP manager for TSBP, told Texas Medicine Today that a third-party vendor is sending out the emails periodically, such as what happened Friday afternoon.
He said physicians can complete registration at any time by visiting texas.pmpaware.net/login.
A PMP Aware account also will allow you to comply with a law that was passed during last year’s legislative session.
House Bill 2561 ― the TSBP sunset bill ― mandated that beginning on Sept. 1, 2019, prescribers must check the PMP before issuing any prescription for opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or carisoprodol. TMA's advocacy during the session helped delay that mandate until 2019, giving TMA and other interested organizations more time to study how to best combat illicit prescribing without adding to physicians’ administrative burden.
To receive help or instructions from TSBP in setting up your account, call (512) 305-8050 or email texaspmp[at]pharmacy[dot]texas[dot]gov.
TMA also created a video with TSBP Executive Director Allison Benz as a primer on how to use the state's PMP. Check it out on our new online Opioids Resource Center.
Physicians who receive questionable emails or other solicitations related to health care can contact the TMA’s Knowledge Center at knowledge[at]texmed[dot]org or (800) 880-7955.