The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. To combat the epidemic, 49 states and Washington, D.C., have built computer systems intended to detect when people try to get multiple prescriptions, either for their own use or to sell illegally.

The prescription drug monitoring programs, or PDMPs, track patients who already have prescriptions for controlled substances and can alert prescribers if someone appears to be “doctor-shopping.” The problem? They often go neglected by physicians.

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