Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Legislation Update

July 20, 2017|3:30 p.m.| ASTHO State Health Policy Staff

Until this week Missouri was the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), an electronic database that tracks prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances. On July 17, Gov. Eric Greitens issued an executive order directing the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to create a PDMP. Information about prescribing and dispensing controlled substances will be submitted to the department for identifying inappropriate prescribing and dispensing activity. Once identified, the department is to refer the activity to law enforcement and professional licensing boards.

While Missouri’s PDMP is just getting started, several states spent time this year making changes to laws surrounding their PDMPs. In Georgia, the department of health now administers the PDMP instead of the state’s drug and narcotics agency (HB 249). In Florida (HB 557) and South Dakota (SB 1), dispensing information must now be submitted daily rather than weekly. All healthcare providers in Mississippi who prescribe drugs must register with the state PDMP (HB 1032), and healthcare providers in Arkansas must check the PDMP when prescribing a schedule II or schedule III opioid or a benzodiazepine for the first time (SB 339). In Tennessee, the department of health may now use PDMP data to identify the top 20 percent of all opioid prescribers in the state, notify them of their status, and require them to take corrective action (HB 1207).

As PDMPs evolve from a law enforcement tool to an instrument used by state health departments to tackle the opioid crisis, ASTHO will continue to monitor the changes state legislatures make to enhance them.