PDMP Legislation Fails Again

When we sent out the last MCC Weekly Update, the fate of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) legislation was in question as the Senate was filibustering the bill. Unfortunately, the bill was laid over by the Senate and never brought up for a final vote. The saga of this bill is one of heartbreak for the bill sponsor, Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston). For the last seven years she has sponsored the bill, only to see it go down in defeat. Supporters were hopeful that this year it would finally be successful in setting up a program to monitor opioid abuse.

HB1693 got off to a good start with debate in the House in mid-February. Despite some legislators arguing that the program would drive people to the illicit drug market, thereby spiking the number of overdose deaths, the bill easily passed the House by a vote of 98-56. The bill was then taken up by the Senate in March, where it was met with stiff opposition from some Senators who felt a PDMP database is an invasion of privacy. After filibustering the bill, the Senate compromised and agreed to the creation of a joint oversight task force made up of pharmacists, physicians and other medical professions to monitor the program, rather than establishing oversight by the Department of Health and Senior Services. The Senate then passed the bill by a vote of 21-10.

When the bill came back to the House in May, it refused to accept the Senate version. After sending it to a conference committee to remove an objectionable portion, the House voted 94-59 to pass the bill. The last remaining step was for the Senate to take up the bill and truly agree and finally pass it. However, the Senate felt the House should have accepted their version of the bill and began filibustering the bill once again, ending hope for its passage.

Missouri is the only state in the nation without a PDMP, although St. Louis County operates its own PDMP, which covers about 80% of the state. A special thanks goes to Rep. Holly Rehder for all her efforts to pass this legislation.

May 26, 2020 - 9:21am

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