On Monday, July 17, Governor Eric Greitens signed an executive order directing the Missouri Depart-ment of Health and Senior Services to begin work creating a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Through partnerships with private sector leaders, the state will be able to monitor prescribers and dispensers to find and eliminate bad actors in the system.
“We need to be honest and clear about the scale of what we are up against: Opioids are a modern plague,” said Governor Greitens. “Like the plague, opioids kill the young, the old, the healthy, the sick, the virtuous and the sinful. There’s not a corner of our state that hasn’t been visited by this curse. There is no single program, or law, or executive order that can fix this crisis. This program is a step—and it’s a big step. Throughout this week, we will outline the other steps we will take to address the opioid crisis. The only thing we won’t do is wait. We won’t wait for this problem to get worse. That’s not an option.”
This executive order has garnered praise from national leaders.
“I’m glad to see Missouri is launching its statewide prescription drug monitoring program,” Richard Baum, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, said. “In the context of both the ongoing opioid epidemic and the health of Missourians, it’s vital to have safeguards in place to make sure that doctors aren’t overprescribing opioids that can be misused and patients aren’t doctor-shopping for multiple prescriptions that could be misused or diverted.”
“I commend Missouri Governor Eric Greitens for taking a strong step in fighting the opioid epidemic by joining other states in establishing a Prescription Drug Monitoring Pro-gram (PDMP),” said Secretary Tom Price of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “I commend Governor Greitens for his leadership in Missouri as we all work to detect and deter the abuse of prescription drugs.”
This Prescription Drug Monitoring Program will utilize de-identified data from private sector partners to specifically target “pill mills” that pump out prescription drugs at dangerous and unlawful levels. It will also enable the Department of Health and Senior Services to better inform doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, and patients and their families about best practices in pain management to decrease over prescriptions of opioids.