You can run the following command:
dpkg -s packagename | grep Status
If your program is installed, you will have an answer like this:
$ dpkg -s libusb-1.0-0-dev | grep Status Status: install ok installed
But if you have not the program, the answer can be similar to:
$ dpkg -s openjdk-6-jdk | grep Status dpkg-query: package 'openjdk-6-jdk' is not installed and no information is available Use dpkg --info (= dpkg-deb --info) to examine archive files, and dpkg --contents (= dpkg-deb --contents) to list their contents.