Why is Missouri the last drug monitoring holdout?

April 11, 2016

Pharmacists and legislators are calling for the creation of a prescription drug monitoring (PDMP)) program in the Missouri – the only state without a monitoring program.

Pharmacists and legislators are calling for the creation of a prescription drug monitoring (PDMP)) program in the Missouri – the only state without such a program.

Holly Rehder “We need it now. More people are becoming addicted in Missouri, more people are doctor-shopping, and there are more drugs on the street,” Rep. Holly Rehder (R-District 148) told Drug Topics.

Recently, pharmacists gathered at the state capitol in support of legislation creating a PDMP.

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"We are seeing an influx of patients who are seekers who are coming in from out of state to try to fill their prescriptions here in Missouri because they know we don't have a prescription drug monitoring program," Justin May, president of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, told reporters.

"(The) prescription drug monitoring plan is important for Missouri pharmacists in the health of Missouri patients so we can review drug interactions and make sure that people are getting the appropriate medications,” he said.

California adopted the first PDMP in 1939. In recent years, almost every other state has followed suit.

 

In fact, PDMP advocates in other states are pushing for stricter laws that would require physicians to check the databases before prescribing opioids. Only seven states have such a mandate in place.

While the Missouri legislature has attempted to pass legislation requiring the establishment of a PDMP for several years, Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-District 34) has opposed the legislation via filibusters that did not allow the bills to be passed.

Schaaf, a former family physician, believes PDMPs violate citizens’ privacy, according to Rehder.

“If there was a privacy or constitutional issue, it would have been found and showcased by now. It’s very shameful that we are the one state that hasn’t done this,” Rehder said, noting that she is passionate about the issue because her daughter battled drug addiction.

Rehder said both medical and pharmacy groups in Missouri support PDMP legislation.

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