Parson Calls for a ‘Long Overdue’ Statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

By on December 6, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said in St. Louis Wednesday that he’d like to sign a statewide prescription drug monitoring program into law next year, a move he says is “long overdue.”

“We’re the only state in the United States that doesn’t have that,” said Parson, flanked by members of his cabinet and St. Louis officials, who gathered in the city Wednesday for a discussion on the opioid epidemic. “The reality of it is, people are losing their lives every day from a terrible situation. And we’ve got to figure out to make sure we have all the tools everybody needs to be able to fight that.”

Bills creating a prescription drug monitoring program, or PDMP, have been debated in the Missouri Legislature for years, but none of the proposals have made it across the finish line.

Last year, Parson’s predecessor, Eric Greitens, issued an executive order calling for his own version of a monitoring program, but Republicans and Democrats alike said his plan fell short of providing a comprehensive approach to fighting drug abuse.

Under Greitens’ measure, the Department of Health and Senior Services pays Express Scripts and other pharmacy benefit management companies such as UnitedHealthcare and CVS to analyze doctor and pharmacy prescription and dispensing data for schedule II through IV controlled substances.

The agency then uses the information to identify activity indicating that controlled substances are being inappropriately prescribed, dispensed or obtained.

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