About Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Data

All pharmacies that dispense controlled substances in or into the State of Iowa are required to report to the Iowa PMP all Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substance prescriptions dispensed to patients residing in Iowa. Pharmacies are not required to, but may, report prescriptions dispensed to inpatients (hospital), long term care (nursing home) and hospice patients.

This page provides general information about the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data and measures developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Contact Us for more information about these data.

Information on this page:

How is the PMP data collected?

PMP data are reported (generally overnight and within one business day) by all pharmacies licensed in the state of Iowa that dispense Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances, and naloxone either in or into the state of Iowa. Prescribers, with the exception of veterinarians, are also required to report their dispensings and may report certain controlled substance administrations to the PMP.

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What data points are submitted to the PMP?

The following elements are required during data submission to the PMP by the dispensing pharmacy:

  • Pharmacy DEA number.
  • Date the prescription is filled.
  • Prescription number.
  • Indication as to whether the prescription is new or a refill.
  • NDC number for the drug dispensed.
  • Quantity of the drug dispensed.
  • Number of days of drug therapy provided by the drug as dispensed.
  • Patient first and last names.
  • Patient address including street address, city, state, and ZIP code.
  • Patient date of birth.
  • Patient gender.
  • Prescriber DEA number.
  • Date the prescription was issued by the prescriber.
  • Method of payment.

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Who is responsible for gathering this data?

Pharmacies and prescribers who dispense medications to patients are responsible for submitting data to the PMP as specified in Iowa Code 657—37.3 (124). The required data elements are specified in Iowa Code 657—37.3(2).

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When/under what conditions are questions asked/data collected?

Most pharmacies submit through a secure internet connection or by utilizing an FTP (file transfer protocol) procedure via a clearing house.

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How often is data collected?

Pharmacies and prescribers have one business day to report dispensed controlled substances to the PMP.

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How often is the PMP updated?


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Who manages the PMP dataset?

The PMP dataset is managed by the PMP Associate Director with help from a PMP administrator and other Board of Pharmacy staff, including the Executive Director.

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How are the measures calculated?

Incidence Rate (Per 10K): The incidence rate is the total number of reported filled prescriptions per 10,000 population.

Rate per 10,000 population shows the number of prescriptions divided by the population and multiplied by 10,000. Displaying rates provides information relative to the population of a given area (e.g., county). This often shows a different picture than counts.

Although county A may have fewer prescriptions than county B, if county A's population is smaller, they have an overall higher prescription rate relative to their county's population. Displaying data in this way can show how prescribing controlled medications affect counties with smaller populations.

Calculating rates based on small case counts can be misleading because changes in case counts by just one or two cases can drastically change the rate. It may make it falsely appear as though prescription in a particular county is high.

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Where can I find more information about the data?

Contact Us to learn more about Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) data, or any of the measures displayed on the Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal.

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