Missouri joins 49 other states as it launches prescription drug monitoring site

(The Center Square) – Missouri health care providers are now required to submit information to the state’s new Prescription Drug Monitoring Program if they prescribe specific controlled substances.

The online program went live on Wednesday, more than two years after it was established after Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 63. Missouri was the last state to adopt a prescription drug monitoring.

The law, sponsored by Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, was created to reduce abuse and misuse of controlled substances, such as opioids.

“The PDMP makes the information available for practitioners and pharmacists to view when they query the system,” according to the program’s website. “Information in the PDMP provides a more complete view of a patient’s prescription history and aids prescribers and dispensers in their decision-making processes.”

Prescribers, dispensers and health care providers throughout the state are now required to make entries in the new system when they prescribe any schedule II, III or IV controlled substances to patients. The controlled substances include drugs with a high potential for abuse, which may lead to severe dependence, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration.

“By making dispensation information available, PDMPs can help prescribers, dispensers, and health care providers identify patients who may be misusing prescription opioids or other controlled substances and who may be at risk for overdose,” according to the program’s website.

Schedule II narcotics include oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine. Schedule III substances have less a potential for abuse compared to substances in Schedule I or II and include codeine and anabolic steroids. Schedule IV substances have a low potential for abuse compared to Schedule III substances and include Xanax, Ativan and Valium, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Missouri’s Statewide PDMP will be an important patient safety tool healthcare providers can now use to make more informed decisions and reduce risks for patients,” Christian Tadrus, a member of the Missouri Joint Oversight Task Force for Prescription Drug Monitoring, said in a statement.

The bill’s fiscal note estimated the cost of the program could could exceed $768,137 during fiscal year 2024.

The joint task force was created to oversee the collection and use of patient dispensation information submitted to the drug monitoring program. Bamboo Health, which provides prescription drug monitoring service to more than 40 other states, was selected as the vendor.

Before the program was launched, 75 jurisdictions throughout the state opted to provide controlled substance information to the prescription drug monitoring program operated by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. St. Louis County’s system will be now be dissolved.

The Missouri law states no patient dispensation information can be provided to local, state or federal law enforcement or prosecutorial officials, both in-state and out-of-state, or any regulatory board, professional or otherwise, for any purposes other than those explicitly set forth in patient records protected by federal privacy laws.

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