(This story is written by Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders)
CLAYTON- St. Louis County’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is marking its one year anniversary.
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger briefed reporters at a Tuesday morning press conference, saying the program has expanded to other jurisdictions.
“We started a county PDMP because Missouri was the only state without such a program,” says Stenger. “We invited others to join us and already 79 percent of the state’s population is covered by our PDMP.”
Stenger also provided the following data gathered from the first year of the County’s PDMP:
- On average, 129,713 opioid prescriptions are dispensed to St. Louis County residents
each month. These prescriptions account for an average of 3,125,266 opioid pills
dispensed to St. Louis County residents monthly.
- Approximately 21,000 controlled substances are dispensed daily from jurisdictions
currently participating in the PDMP, and an average of 5,200 of those are dispensed daily
in St. Louis County.
- Hydrocodone, oxycodone, and tramadol are the three most frequently prescribed opioids
and comprise 85% of opioid prescriptions.
- In the past year, the PDMP multiple provider episode alert has been generated for 13,974
patients. The multiple provider episode alert generates when a patient has filled
prescriptions written by 3 or more prescribers that are filled at 3 or more pharmacies
within a 6 month period.
Stenger tells reporters these statistics prove the need for the PDMP.
“There are still too many people dying from abuse and overdoses,” County Executive Stenger says. But our prescription drug monitoring program is saving lives as part of a multi-faceted approach we are using to combat the opioid crisis in our community. County police and first responders have successfully used Narcan to reverse an overdose 146 times since 2016. The St. Louis County Public Health Department is also working with community partners to increase access to opioid treatment and recovery services.”
Last year, St. Louis County had 203 opioid related deaths.