Missouri Lone Holdout on Prescription Drug Monitoring

ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske is urging state legislators to pass legislation creating one.

Only one U.S. state, Missouri, lacks a prescription drug monitoring program, according to the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs, an organization created in 1990. New Hampshire in June 2012 became the 49th state with such a program, and Gil Kerlikowski, director of ONDCP, visited Missouri recently to urge state legislators to pass one, according to an Aug. 17 news release posted by the White House.

It said Kerlikowske joined Missouri State Sen. Kevin Engler; David Barton, director of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA); and the father of an overdose victim to discuss the importance of tracking prescription drugs.

The programs are databases that can be an early warning system for pharmacists and other prescribers to avoid dangerous drug interactions and to intervene in the early stages of prescription drug abuse. They also help to pinpoint pill mills and reduce doctor shopping. According to ONDCP, a 2010 study found that physicians at a Toledo, Ohio emergency department changed the prescriptions for 41 percent of their emergency department patients after reviewing data from the program there; 61 percent of the patients received fewer or no opioid medications than originally planned and 39 percent received more opioid medication than previously planned because the data indicated those patients had no recent history of drug abuse.

More information about the alliance, visit http://www.pmpalliance.org/.

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