Several months after Missouri’s governor signed an executive order to establish a prescription drug monitoring program, the state still hasn’t made any progress.
In July, Gov. Eric Greitens circumvented state lawmakers and issued an order establishing a multiphase PDMP that requires the state to contract with a pharmacy benefit manager to analyze opioid prescribing and dispensing data. Missouri was the last state in the country to implement a PDMP after efforts in the state legislator stalled over privacy concerns.
But the St. Louis Dispatch reports the program still isn’t up and running. A spokesperson with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services told the newspaper that the “process for a PDMP contract is moving forward.”
“More than 15 weeks later, Missouri is still waiting for the governor’s actions to match his words,” House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, told the newspaper. “With the failure of the governor’s imaginary (drug monitoring program) to materialize, Missouri remains the only state in the nation without one.”
The PDMP program outlined under the executive order was slightly different than traditional models. Rather than allowing providers to check the prescribing data, the state would pay a PBM to analyze prescriptions. State lawmakers have questioned whether Greitens has the authority to appropriate state funding to pay for a contract.
PDMP enhancements were one of several recommendations issued by President Donald Trump’s opioid commission earlier this month. The final report urged Congress to pass legislation that would require states to share PDMP data and create a national data hub overseen by the Department of Justice.
The commission also recommended mandatory PDMP checks for physicians and called on states to integrate prescription data into EHRs. Some, like Indiana and Michigan, have already launched efforts to pull data into hospital computer systems.