Missouri is the only state in the nation to not pass some form of a prescription drug monitoring bill. There have been several proposals, but MOCEP continues to push for the following critical pieces. First, include at a minimum controlled substances (schedule II – IV), second, ensure it is real time, and finally make it applicable to everyone. Drug addiction is not contained to one socioeconomic class. We do believe that eventually we will have to negotiate on these core principles to get a “starter” system approved.
There are presently 2 bills circulating in the legislature. We cannot support the first one. The author, who is a physician, states that it would create a PDMP. In reality, it would not. The physician would send a name to the Board of Healing Arts. Under some computerized system that has no specifics and has never been developed, the physician would get sent back a red flag or no flag. What that red flag means is not exactly clear or why there was a red flag is also not clear. Based on that, the physician could decide whether or not to give narcotics. The physician could call the Board if they have further questions. It is unclear if any of this information or if the flag would return in real time. The bill would also prevent cities from developing their own program and have to be approved by a statewide vote. While we believe in compromising, there is not a single part of this plan that we support.
The plan that we are supporting, even if it cannot get through the Senate for another 2 years, would allow ED physicians real-time access to a patient’s prescription history. It would be simple to use but would not be required. This plan has support in both the House and Senate and is supported by other physician groups in the state. As an update, the Senate bill was just passed out of the Senate. However, multiple amendments were added to avoid a filibuster. It is still unclear what exactly all these amendments will do and what the final version of this bill will look like after the House and Senate versions are reconciled. In the meantime, county wide programs are set to open. The first in Saint Louis county is set to start at the end of April 2017. The current plan is that nearly 80% of the state will be covered by the same county-wide program.