Missouri last in line to create prescription drug-monitoring program
Missouri became the final state to create a prescription drug-monitoring program last week when Republican Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order aimed at combating a scourge that killed more than 900 residents last year.
The announcement surprised lawmakers, many of whom were unaware such a program was under consideration. Almost immediately, Democrats questioned whether the order goes far enough, while some Republicans expressed concerns about privacy.
The monitoring program could be operating within a month, said Randall Williams, director of Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services.
Greitens signed the order following a news conference at Express Scripts, the St. Louis-based online pharmacy benefits manager that will help provide data analytics as part of the effort.
For many years, Missouri has been the lone holdout without a statewide program that tracks prescription drug scripts as part of the effort to combat doctor shopping and prescription opioid addiction. State lawmakers have considered drugmonitoring programs repeatedly but legislation has failed, largely because of privacy concerns about keeping medical information in a database.