House Approves Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

After more than four hours of debate on Wednesday, the House gave preliminary approval by a vote of 110-43 to a statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston), sponsor of HB 188, told the legislative body that a PDMP would save lives by helping to stop addiction to opioid drugs. Missouri is the only state in the nation that does not have a statewide PDMP.

This is the seventh year that this proposal has been debated in the legislature. Opponents argued that there is no proof that the bill will stop illegal prescriptions. Many also had concerns with the government having a database containing prescriptions that law-abiding citizens can receive.

Because Missouri lacks a statewide PDMP, counties have begun setting up their own monitoring programs. Rep. Rehder noted, however, that only 67 of the 114 counties have set up their own systems. Former Gov. Eric Grietens had also issued an executive order calling for his own version of a monitoring program, but it failed to provide a comprehensive approach.

If the House gives final approval to the bill, it will send the measure over to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. On Wednesday, the Senate version of the PDMP failed to win enough votes in committee to make it to the full chamber for a vote. That bill (SB 155) now sits in limbo awaiting further negotiations.

February 11, 2019 - 8:22am
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