Missouri may finally get a PDMP
Missouri is on the brink of finally ending its status as the nation’s only state without a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), ending a decadelong legislative battle.
The Senate voted 21 to 10 to establish a PDMP, which is aimed at combating opioid addiction. The bill, sponsored by Sikeston Republican Rep. Holly Rehder, now heads back to the
House, where it is expected to pass quickly and reach Gov. Mike Parson for his signature.
“Governor Parson has been a longtime supporter of implementing a PDMP and is thankful for the General Assembly for prioritizing this legislation,” Kelli Jones, Parson’s Communications Director, said.
This legislation has passed the House previously, only to fail in the Senate. Last year, the bill didn’t even reach the Senate floor because of opposition from a six-member Senate conservative caucus.
This year, however, lawmakers were able to work out a compromise that addressed some of the concerns. Conservative lawmakers have long contended that a database of personal prescriptions violates privacy rights guaranteed by the fourth amendment.
All eight Senate Democrats joined with 13 Republicans to pass the bill. Ten Republicans, including all but one member of the conservative caucus, voted against it.
Sen. Eric Burlison, RBattlefield, said this issue was particularly frustrating because he viewed it as a win-lose situation. The win: saving lives. The lose: compromising the rights and privacy of individuals who have done no harm.
The Senate’s version of the bill creates a joint oversight task force to supervise the collection of patient data. The panel will consist of members of state medical boards such as the board of healing arts, the board of pharmacy, the board of nursing, and the dental board.
Parkville Republican Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer noted that the bill went
THE SENATE’S VERSION OF THE BILL CREATES A JOINT OVERSIGHT TASK FORCE TO SUPERVISE THE COLLECTION OF PATIENT DATA.
through many changes and was “better because of the deliberative process.”
Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, R-Shelbina, was the only member of the conservative caucus to vote in favor of the bill.
“I believe this is a win for everyone and there aren’t many of those,” O’Laughlin said in a statement on Facebook. “I understand there are those who will wonder if this solution really does protect their privacy. I feel after weeks of work and review this is a good solution that protects you and your privacy.”
The details of the compromise came after a lengthy filibuster earlier in the week, although most of the changes were worked out privately between the conservative caucus, Rehder and Luetkemeyer.