Legislation that would establish a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) in Missouri—the only state without such a monitoring program—failed to pass again this year.
The state legislature ended its session on May 12, right after Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston), the sponsor of H.B. 90, the Narcotics Control Act, asked to set it aside rather than have the State Senate take a vote on a version of the bill with amendments. The amended bill would have threatened existing PDMP systems in certain Missouri counties, the Kansas City Star reported.
“(Two) people overdose every day in Missouri. I’m not going to give up,” Rehder told a Cape Girardeau TV station.
“I don’t know how legislators who voted against it can sleep at night,” said Richard Logan, PharmD, a deputy sheriff and Owner of L & S Pharmacy in Charleston, MO. “In the time we have been working on this [legislation], I would like to figure out how many Missourians have died from opioid overdoses.”
Because his pharmacy is near Missouri’s borders with Kentucky and Tennessee, Logan told Drug Topics that many opioid addicts come to pharmacies from those two states—and others—because they know that Missouri does not have a PDMP.
“We are still the go-to state for people seeking opioids,” Logan said. “I have had to [show my badge to] people at the counter and run them out of here.”
While Logan is disappointed the PDMP legislation did not pass this year, “all we can do is re-group,” he said.
Rehder introduced the original legislation several years ago, and, each year, it has been blocked by a group of legislators led by Senator Rob Schaaf (R-District 34).
Rehder and Schaaf did not return calls from Drug Topics this week.
California adopted the first PDMP in 1939. Since then, every other state has followed suit, with only Missouri as the hold-out.
“We need it now. More people are becoming addicted in Missouri, more people are doctor-shopping and there are more drugs on the street,” Rehder told Drug Topics last year. “It’s very shameful that we are the one state that hasn’t done this.” Rehder said she is passionate about the issue because her daughter has battled drug addiction.