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Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

December 10, 2020
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Joshua Mueller

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are electronic databases that track prescriptions of controlled substances. Every state except Missouri has implemented a statewide PDMP to monitor prescriber and patient behavior in near real-time with high geographic precision. St. Louis County created a PDMP in 2012, but not all areas of the state currently participate. SB 63 would establish the Joint Oversight Task Force of Prescription Drug Monitoring within the Office of Administration. This body would be tasked with identifying and contracting with a vendor to create a PDMP for monitoring the prescribing and dispensing of medically important drugs with the potential for abuse in the state. SB 63 also specifies privacy protections for patient information, including deletion of data after 3 years, deidentification when data is provided to outside entities for research purposes, and prohibitions on providing data to law enforcement or any other body for purposes outside of those outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The bill also establishes fines for dispensers who do not submit accurate dispensation information and criminal penalties for anyone who violates the privacy protections established by the bill.

Highlights

  • Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are the most well-studied opioidrelated policy.
  • PDMPs are associated with reduced dispensing of opioids and lower rates of multiple provider use.
  • However, the effects of PDMPs on opioid overdoses are not well-established.

Limitations

  • State PDMP laws vary widely, so it is difficult in certain cases to identify which particular PDMP provisions are responsible for observed effects.
  • The extent to which patients experiencing chronic pain stop receiving appropriate prescriptions due to PDMP implementation is unknown.
  • It is unknown whether prescription-seekers turn to other sources of pain relief, such as fentanyl, after implementation of strict PDMP laws.
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