A freshman state lawmaker who represents a district in far southern Missouri passed landmark prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation in his first year in Jefferson City.

State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Twin Bridges) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on May 14, 2021 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Twin Bridges) represents Douglas, Ozark and Taney counties. He tells Missourinet that PDMP will have a big impact in rural Missouri.

“Serving on the board of Ozarks Healthcare. I heard from doctors, pharmacists saying we really need to get this across the board,” Smith says.

A PDMP is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions within a state. Missouri has become the 50th and final state to have PDMP, with the governor’s signature. Senate Bill 63 will take effect on August 28.

Representative Smith says PDMP will save thousands of lives.

“And I wanted to show people too that I could take something that was controversial and get it passed. Because you only have eight years to serve up here (in the Missouri House). That seems like a short time, but we’re already done with one out of eight,” says Smith.

The conservative Republican praises House Democrats and Republicans for working with him to approve PDMP. Smith emphasizes the measure is bipartisan, adding that it will help in Missouri’s battle against the opioid epidemic.

Smith was able to pass PDMP, despite the fact that House Speaker Rob Vescovo (R-Arnold) and House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann (R-O’Fallon) voted against the bill.

Despite his opposition to PDMP, Speaker Vescovo said late in the session that he would bring it up for a floor vote, and he did that.

Smith worked closely this session with State Sen. Holly Rehder (R-Scott City), who filed PDMP for nine straight years. She praises Representative Smith as a good man, and a thoughtful leader.

Senator Rehder describes PDMP as a tool for Missouri’s medical professionals to be able to see what their patients’ medication history is. She says it will help fight the opioid epidemic, and will prevent difficult combinations of prescription drugs that shouldn’t be given together.

PDMP was a top priority of Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm organization.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Twin Bridges), which was recorded at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City on June 7, 2021:

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