Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Eric Norris / Flickr

Springfield doctors and pharmacists will have a new tool to use when prescribing and handing out opiates and opioids.  Springfield City Council approved the implementation of a prescription drug monitoring program for the city Monday night. Hours later, Greene County commissioners approved a database county-wide.

The PDMP will be part of the St. Louis Consortium and will be voluntary for physicians to use and mandatory for pharmacists, according to City Councilman Dr. Tom Prater, who said it will be important in being able to evaluate a patient's needs.

An ordinance to implement a prescription drug monitoring program in Springfield will go to the full city council for a vote after a council committee--the Community Involvement Committee—unanimously agreed Tuesday to take that action.

Before the vote, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and Springfield’s Healthy Living Alliance recommended moving forward with the ordinance.

Springfield is planning to join a largely state-wide effort to receive a federal grant to implement a PDMP.  The grant would cover the cost of a program for the first two years.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said it has been “a source of extreme frustration” that, as the U.S. has dealt with an epidemic of opioid abuse, Missouri is the only state that has refused to set up a prescription drug monitoring program.

According to McCaskill, the states that have set up prescription drug monitoring programs, designed to catch those who are “prescription shopping,” have seen success.

"Tennessee, for example, the opioid abuse has dropped by a third since they adopted their monitor--New York 75 percent," she said.