Missouri Senate passes prescription drug monitoring program - KMOV.com

Missouri Senate passes prescription drug monitoring program

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Credit: KMOV Credit: KMOV

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State senators have passed legislation to make Missouri the final state to adopt a prescription drug tracking program that's aimed at addressing opioid addiction.

Senators voted 22-9 Thursday to create a database for addictive prescriptions that pharmacists and doctors can check to see if patients have recently filled or been prescribed similar medication.

Missouri has long been the only holdout in making such a program, which is intended to curtail doctor shopping and help physicians identify when patients need addiction treatment.

Senators on Thursday changed the House bill to make it mandatory in most cases for doctors to check the database before prescribing addictive drugs. Other changes made in the Senate include a requirement that data are purged after 180 days.

Lawmakers have fought over creating a PDMP for several years but key lawmakers citing privacy concerns always shot it down. Supporters couldn't move it forward.

"This is the farthest the state has ever been," said Chad Sabora, founder of the  Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery.

With no movement on a PDMP in Jefferson City, St. Louis County started its own last year sending a message to state lawmakers that it wouldn't wait any longer.

Missouri remains the only state in the U.S. without a program. 

That's embarrassing to us," Sabora said. "It makes us feel like we're backwards."

The bill now heads back to the House for review.

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