This week the Missouri Catholic Conference sent a floor letter to all members of the Missouri House of Representatives, urging the passage of HCS HB 90 and 28, a bill that would establish a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). The bill is pending for debate in the House.
In supporting the legislation, the MCC said, “The current situation is not acceptable: at present, doctors and pharmacists are left without complete information about their patients’ prescription drug use. People take advantage of this situation by ‘doctor shopping’ for more drugs. A well-run PDMP can be an important tool in stopping this practice.”
The MCC noted that Missouri, like much of the nation, is facing an opioid epidemic. A 2015 report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a number of recommendations to address this epidemic, including improving access to and use of PDMPs. (See Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths – United States, 2010-2015) A PDMP, if well designed, can help reduce “doctor shopping.” (Congressional Research Service Report) Yet Missouri is the only state in the nation that does not have a PDMP. (State Medical Boards State-by-State Comparison)
In considering HCS HB 90 and 68, the MCC observed that: “While individuals bear first responsibility for their health and the health of their family, government also has a role in promoting the health and welfare – the common good – of its citizens. (Catechism, pars. 1906-1912) A PDMP is one way to further this goal.”