Missouri Only State Without Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

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JEFFERSON CITY - A group of advocates met at the state capitol Thursday to testify in support of creating a statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).

Every other U.S. state has a PDMP. The program aims to stop "doctor shoppers," people who go from doctor to doctor trying to get prescriptions.

"They can then take those prescriptions to different pharmacies in the same area and get the scripts filled and end up with a large quantity of controlled substances to sell or abuse," Darran Alberty, a pharmacist at D and H Drugstore in Columbia said."I think we would all be very surprised of how common it is."

The program would include a database allowing doctors and pharmacists to have access to who uses prescription drugs in Missouri and what they use.

Right now, even if a pharmacist suspects the abuse of prescription drugs, there's no legal way to deny the drugs if the person has a prescription.

The bill was shot down in 2012, but advocates are trying to push for it again this year.

"Florida and several of the states swear by it. They say that they're able to track this drug use down and people don't try to go in and doctor shop and go to three or four different places," Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, said.

Engler is sponsoring the House Bill 347 and Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, is sponsoring the companion Senate Bill 233.

Sen. Robert Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said he doesn't think Missourians would pass the bill if it came to a vote.

"I believe that the voters of Missouri would reject this because most people don't want the government to have access to their very sensitive very private information," Schaff said.

The Centers for Disease Control recently named prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. Alberty said this doesn't surprise him.

"I've seen it right here," Alberty said. "This bill would be another tool that could help stop it."