To The Editor:
The Missouri House of Representatives passed the “Narcotics Control Act” (HB188) Monday, Feb. 11. Comments were made by many of the representatives when contacted by constituents who opposed adopting the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) statewide that the majority of the people in their districts wanted the PDMP.
I would suggest that the majority of people in their districts wanted the PDMP that they thought their state rep was supporting. Would they be so supportive if they knew the PDMP the House approved did not require physicians to check the database before prescribing opioids? HB188 also does not require a pharmacist check the database before filling a prescription for opioids.
The people hope that by collecting personal prescription data a PDMP will curb the opioid crisis the country is experiencing. It’s easy to understand why the people would believe the PDMP would be limited to opioids. But the database that HB188 creates captures any prescription for Schedule II, III or IV drugs. The database created by HB188 would contain the information of patients who get prescriptions for stimulants such as Ritalyn, sleeping aids such as Ambian and antidepressants.
The database created by HB188 would also be made available to other public and private entities who can use the data for statistical, research, or educational purposes. Would “big pharma” take that data to fine-tune their marketing?
An amendment was proposed to correct each of these issues with HB188 but was rejected by the sponsor and subsequently the majority of the representatives.
Most Missourians have heard that Missouri is the only state which hasn’t adopted the statewide PDMP. But did you know that Missouri has ranked 21st between 2013 and 2017 (last record CDC posts) in deaths due to opioids? If the PDMP worked, wouldn’t Missouri be the worst state regarding opioid deaths? Knowing the facts about the database that HB188 would create and why it would not work any better than it has in the other states while risking the privacy of Missourians who take Schedule II, III or IV prescriptions would the people still support the PDMP that the Missouri House of Representatives approved?
Even if you support the idea of a PDMP, wouldn’t you want the Missouri PDMP to be the best one our Missouri General Assembly can create — especially after being able to study the other 49 states that have had them in place?
By the way, the problems regarding the PDMP described in this letter are in the PDMP that Commissioner Roger Mauzy and Southern Commissioner Hubie Kluesner adopted for Warren County in November.
We still have time to contact Sen. Riddle so the Senate can defeat this bad PDMP and go back to the drawing board.