County May Seek Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Crawford County resident Annalee Williams pushed commissioners Tuesday to look into a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). Supporters say PDMPs are needed to combat opioid abuse, while opponents argue it's an invasion of patients' privacy.

Missouri was the only state in the nation without a PDMP until an executive order was issued in July by Gov. Eric Greitens.

Legislators were unable to pass a PDMP, so several counties — making up 58 percent of the state's population — joined St. Louis County's PDMP.

PDMPs identify people who acquire excess prescriptions for painkillers and physicians who overprescribe them. Doctors and pharmacists can access a database to see where patients are receiving their medications, which helps curb "doctor shopping."

Gasconade County is the only bordering county which has implemented a program. The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health is operating and maintaining the PDMP and acts as the administrator.

Jurisdictions can participate or subscribe, but counties wishing to join must enact the proper legislation.

Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders directed Sheriff Darin Layman to look into how the county could also implement something.

Williams said something needs to be done.

"We have a serious drug problem," she said. "One in 66 people have died from a drug overdose. It's hitting home and young people are dying. We have to be proactive in stopping this."

Williams said she knows a number of people who would be interesting in helping and supporting the implementation.

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