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Missouri May Finally Have a Prescription Monitoring Program

By the Missouri News Network

Missouri may no longer be the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). On Tuesday night, April 6, 2021, the Missouri Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 63, a bill that would finally implement a PDMP for the state, intended to regulate and monitor opioid prescriptions.

Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, a supporter of the legislation, said: “I think it’s long overdue. Even for folks who don’t like the idea, I think it’s in the best interest for the state.”

The monitoring programs, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are “the most promising state-level interventions to improve opioid prescribing, inform clinical practice, and protect patients at risk.” Evaluations of PDMPs by the CDC “have illustrated changes in prescribing behaviors, use of multiple providers by patients, and decreased substance abuse treatment admissions.” In other words, PDMPs are proven effective.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, has introduced similar legislation each of the last eight years she has been a member of the House. Every time, the legislation died in the Senate. Now, as a senator, she has finally gotten it through.

Rehder has said in the past that PDMP legislation is meant, as a tool, that still leaves medical decisions to health care providers.

“We don’t want to get in between physicians and their patients, when it comes to their health and care,” Rehder said.

“It’s not the silver bullet, it’s not going to fix all the problems that exist in the world related to drug abuse, but I do think it’s a tool that health care folks have been asking for over the years,” Sen. Caleb Rowden said. When asked, if he thinks the bill will become law, he said, “I’m optimistic, I’m always optimistic, there’s a lot of time left,” referencing the adjournment of the legislative session, looming at the end of May.

The bill will go to the house next and must be approved there before reaching Gov. Mike Parson’s desk to be signed into law.

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