Mis­souri last in line to cre­ate pre­scrip­tion drug-mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS -

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.

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