Missouri PDMP NOW Coalition Applauds Sen. Sater and Rep. Engler for Sponsoring Bills To Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

The Missouri PDMP NOW Coalition applauds Sen. David Sater and Rep. Kevin Engler for introducing legislation to establish a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The coalition also encourages lawmakers to pass these critical bills during the 2013 session.

The Missouri PDMP NOW Coalition is a bipartisan, broad-based coalition comprised of 30 organizations that have come together to support passage of PDMP legislation. Forty-nine other states have passed PDMP legislation. Missouri is the only state in the country that has not passed a PDMP bill.

A PDMP is a secure electronic database that lets doctors and pharmacists track prescription drug data and helps prevent drug abusers and traffickers from accessing prescription medications. PDMP data are treated as private health information and only track certain types of controlled substances dispensed within a state. It can act as an early warning system for prescribers to avoid doctor shopping, prevent dangerous drug interactions and ensure quality patient care.

“We find that many of the youth who have had issues with opioid abuse started with prescription painkillers. It is time for Missouri to take action and address this critical issue facing our families and our communities,” said Dan Duncan, executive director of National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse-St. Louis Chapter, a coalition member.  “This legislation protects patient privacy and helps to ensure that only legitimate patients get the prescription drugs they need.”

The coalition strongly supports proposed legislation filed by Sen. Sater and Rep. Engler.  These bills address the concerns of healthcare providers, patients, law enforcement, abuse prevention/treatment community, businesses and citizens.  With 49 other states having already passed PDMP legislation, Missouri can use the best provisions of other states when implementing its PDMP.  Missouri’s PDMP will be designed to ensure confidentiality of information, support best use of clinical practice guidelines and enable real-time reporting of prescription data.

“PDMPs are critical to patient safety,” said Dr. Bob Twillman of the American Academy of Pain Management and a coalition member.  “Patients occasionally fail to disclose every medication they are taking, either because they can’t remember or intentionally fail to disclose the information,” said Twillman. “Sometimes, those medications, when combined with new prescriptions, can make a deadly combination. Having a PDMP allows healthcare providers to check for this and avoid unintentionally prescribing problematic combinations of medications.”

“A PDMP helps to reduce abuse and saves lives,” said Kent Oberkrom, president of the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association and a coalition member. “It will help control the growth of prescription drug abuse – a problem that the Missouri law enforcement community deals with daily. A PDMP would also give us a tool to identify pill mills – facilities that illegally prescribe opioid pain medications.”

To learn more about the Missouri Prescription Drug Monitoring Program NOW Coalition and this issue, visit our website at www.MoPDMPNow.org.

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