Watered-down Prescription Drug Registry Bill Gets First Round Approval in Senate

This week the Missouri Senate gave first round approval to a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) that advocates say won’t work to stop doctor shopping for painkillers. SB 74 is sponsored by Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph), who for the past five legislative sessions has simply opposed PDMP bills.

This year, sensing gaining support for a PDMP, Schaaf offered his own bill. Instead of direct access to the registry, doctors and pharmacists would have to submit the name of the person to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, which would grant access only if the person was determined to be a potential abuser. See this St. Louis Post-Dispatch article for more about the Senate action.

The Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) supports creation of an effective PDMP, as is proposed in other bills, including SB 314, sponsored by Senator Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) and HCS of HBs 68 and 90, sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston). The Rehder bill should soon be on the House floor for debate. Similar bills have passed the House by large margins in past sessions. A final showdown on PMDP is likely to come later if the Senate debates the Rehder bill.

This week in a Facebook live Q&A, Governor Greitens also expressed his support for a PDMP. You can read more about his comments in this Kansas City Star editorial piece. Stay tuned for more.