Two Missouri legislative committees will consider prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation Wednesday at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.
Missouri is the only state in the nation without a PDMP, which is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions within a state.
The Missouri Senate Seniors, Families and Children Committee will hear PDMP legislation Wednesday morning from State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville. The Missouri House Insurance Policy Committee will hear a PDMP bill from State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, on Wednesday evening.
The Missouri House and Senate approved different versions of the bill in 2017, but the Senate version contained a prescriber mandate provision. The bill died on the 2017 session’s final day.
Representative Rehder, who’s championed PDMP legislation for years, is hopeful 2019 will be the year it finally passes.
She says the bill is needed because of the toll the opioid epidemic is taking on families.
Rehder’s bill has strong, bipartisan support. House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, tells Missourinet he backs Rehder’s bill.
“This is my seventh year (in the House), I think we passed it out five of the six years I’ve been here and I’ve voted for it every time,” Haahr says.
U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, has called on Missouri lawmakers to approve a PDMP, saying it would help prevent drug-shopping.
Congresswoman Hartzler says there have been several documented cases of individuals from other states visiting Walmart pharmacies to take advantage of the lack of monitoring in Missouri.
State Rep. Cora Faith Walker, D-Ferguson, praises Rehder. Walker, the ranking Democrat on the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee, filed her own PDMP bill this week.
“It’s time for Missouri join the rest of the nation in this initiative. Putting a proper PDMP in place for the entire state can help us stop opioid abuse at the source,” says Walker.
Rehder told Missourinet in December that while about 87 percent of Missouri’s population is currently covered by county PDMP’s, only about 60 to 70 counties have it. She notes that many small, rural counties that lack PDMP are suffering because of the opioid crisis.