In an effort to rein in drug abuse throughout the state, House Bill 1133 was third read and passed by the House this week. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, and supported by the Missouri Chamber.
The act would establish the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act and would change the laws regarding the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. The act would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to establish and maintain a program to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II through Schedule IV controlled substances by all licensed professionals who prescribe or dispense these substances in Missouri. The person dispensing the drugs would then be required to electronically submit to the department information for each prescription. The bill would also require the department to establish a statewide pilot project for reporting fraudulently obtained prescription controlled substances.
“Missouri is the only state that does not have this program in place,” Jay Atkins, general counsel for the Missouri Chamber, said. “Forty nine other states have enacted this legislation. If Missouri had a central prescription drug monitoring program, it would block criminals from other states coming to Missouri to fill multiple prescriptions. This is common-sense legislation.”
The act would also require all submitted prescription information to be kept confidential with specified exceptions. The department would then review the information and, if there is reasonable cause to believe a violation of law or breach of professional standards may have occurred, they would then notify law enforcement.
The bill would also require the department to maintain a registry of people who might reasonably be considered to have violated any prescription drug laws, and they would stay on the registry for a minimum of three years. Any person who violates provisions of the act could receive a $1,000 fine for each violation.
Several business organizations, including the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry are members of the Missouri Prescription Drug Monitoring Program NOW Coalition, which is a strong proponent of this legislation.
For more information about this legislation, please contact Jay Atkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-634-3511.