Concerns over patient privacy may once again prevent the Missouri Senate from passing a bill to create a prescription drug monitoring program in the Show-Me State.
Currently, Missouri is the only state that does not have a prescription drug monitoring program in place or in the process of implementation. With illegal drug use among employees declining but prescription drug use on the rise, it seems like the time is now for Missouri to step up and prevent prescription drug fraud.
For those that want to weigh the pros and cons of the proposed HB 1133, we’ve compiled details about prescription drug monitoring and how it could affect you.
Prescription Drug Monitoring in Missouri?
Missouri HB 1133: The Basics
If HB 1133 passes, Missouri will implement an electronic system that monitors who receives prescriptions for addictive medications such as Xanax, Vicodin, and OxyContin. The goal behind the bill is to better track prescriptions and prevent drug dealers or addicts from getting medications from multiple doctors who are unwittingly fueling the underground prescription drug trade.
The Department of Health and Senior Services would run the prescription drug monitoring database, in which pharmacies would provide information about each prescription, including details on the patient and physicians. This information would be confidential, but doctors and pharmacists would have access to patients they were directly treating, and law enforcement could get access to the database with a court order.
Preventing Prescription Drug Addiction in Missouri
Missouri has the 7th highest rate of overdose in the United States, and prescription drug addiction and abuse is a large contributor to this epidemic. Around 3,200 Missouri citizens seek treatment for addiction to prescription drugs each year. Lawmakers hope that the prescription drug database will curb the illegal prescription drug trade by preventing addicts and drug dealers from “doctor hopping” to obtain fraudulent prescriptions.
Drawbacks to Prescription Drug Monitoring?
Supporters of previous prescription drug monitoring proposals, including a 2012 bill that was filibustered in the Missouri State Senate, have backtracked and no longer support HB 1133. Opponents of the bill cite patient privacy concerns. Some believe that hackers could launch an assault and create a data breach, while others worry about government overreach.
One dissenter, Representative Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph, proposed that only a division of the health department should have access to the information rather than physicians, pharmacists, and law enforcement. Supporters of the bill assert that the prescription drug monitoring database would be just as secure as other medical records and note that insurance companies and pharmacies do already collect patient data to track pseudoephedrine purchases.
Get Prescription Drug Testing in Kansas City Today
With Missouri’s path to prescription drug monitoring unclear, one of the only ways to prevent prescription drug abuse remains prescription drug testing. With a 10-panel drug test at ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North, you can see if your employee or loved one has a problem with prescription drugs.
To learn more about prescription drug testing, contact ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North today at (816) 399-4597.