When it comes to prescription drug abuse and drug monitoring, states are cracking down. All the states except Missouri, that is. While all the other states have prescription drug abuse and drug monitoring laws in effect, Missouri is the only state that doesn’t, and it’s beginning to be a problem.
ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North shares what metro employers, including Kansas businesses, should know about Missouri’s lack of prescription drug regulations.
Why Missouri Needs Prescription Drug Monitoring
What Does Prescription Drug Monitoring Accomplish?
For the other 49 states — including neighboring Kansas, whose prescription drug monitoring program has been quite successful — a central computerized drug monitoring database helps doctors, pharmacies and law enforcement officials keep better tabs on who is being prescribed what pills. These programs are designed to help prevent prescription drug abuse by making obtaining multiple or forged prescriptions more difficult. With a central database, all of the prescription information is stored in one place.
While a few concerned parties are worried about patient confidentiality and privacy, for most people, prescription drug abuse prevention is more important. The information isn’t shared publicly. It just goes in a database for authorized officials to see.
Yet, Missouri is the only state that does not currently have this drug monitoring system, and the state’s medical professionals are feeling the effects of it. Missouri pharmacists are reporting an increase in out-of-state drug orders and forged doctor’s signatures, since people know that their prescriptions won’t be traced.
While Missouri pharmacists can always call doctors out of state if their prescriptions look suspicious, this takes a large amount of time that pharmacists simply don’t have. It also does nothing to prevent the instances when addicts visit multiple doctors to receive multiple prescriptions and then fill them at multiple pharmacies.
In states where drug monitoring systems are in place, such as Kansas, prescription drug abuse is already declining. Yet, Missouri still has the seventh highest overdose rate in the country, due in part to a lack of a drug monitoring system.
Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse in Kansas City
Whether or not Missouri will pass prescription drug abuse prevention laws in the future remains to be seen. One thing is certain, though: until they do, their pharmacists are going to stay very, very busy, and employers should stay concerned.
And Kansas employers shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security by their own prescription drug monitoring program — keep in mind that if your business straddles a state line, workers from Missouri could be carrying out prescription drug abuse under your nose. Also, one of the main sources of prescription drugs used in abuse isn’t the doctor’s office or pharmacy, or even the drug dealer — it’s the medicine cabinets of friends and family members. Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog, which will cover prescription drug concerns in Kansas!
ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City North can help Missouri and Kansas businesses monitor their workforce to ensure they aren’t abusing drugs, prescription or otherwise. To get started, call us today at (816) 399-4597!