I want to let you know both sides of the issue, and provide some education on why forty-nine states have statute establishing a PDMP, and Missouri does not.
Yes, Missouri is the only state without a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
What you usually don’t hear is that not all states with PDMP statutes have truly functional PDMPs, either due to lack of funding or burdensome requirements. Missouri legislators have been criticized for lack of action, and rightly so. In our most recent survey, almost 95% were in support of a state PDMP and 75% even supported mandatory physician use.
Physicians across the state overwhelmingly agree that a PDMP would make their jobs easier by allowing them to more easily determine if a patient is doctor-shopping or using prescription drugs inappropriately.
Many physicians have told me that they simply will not prescribe pain medications to patients due to fear of what may happen to those drugs after the patient visits the pharmacy. Physicians should be able to make informed decisions about their patients’ care without this worry. While a PDMP may not totally solve the problem, it would serve as an additional tool.
So why does it seem like legislators are ignoring your voice? Good question, but the answer may surprise you.
Some legislators point out that forty-nine states have PDMPs, but the overdose death rate in every state continue to rise. Shouldn’t we see a decline? And, because we have no PDMP, why is Missouri not first on the list of deaths rather than 22nd? Data does not always support the effectiveness of those PDMPs that are currently in place. Again, these are valid points. But, we all know evidence can be found for either way we want to spin the issue.
I have been in countless meetings on the opioid/PDMP issue, and hear over and over about this being a physician-created problem. Right or wrong, many in
positions of power feel that to fix the problem a physician (not patient) crack-down is needed. A PDMP is looked at as a tool to help the powers-that-be (DEA, BNDD) do this, rather than as a tool to ensure patients who need the drugs get them. MAOPS disagrees.
So, maybe it’s time to educate leaders and citizens in your communities about the benefits of a PDMP?!
As physicians, MAOPS members provide some of the most trusted voices in their communities. If you have influence in your county, this is an opportunity to educate the county commission about this issue. Go to the MAOPS website at www.maops.org/AdvocacyCenter, click on the 2017 Legislative Update link, and download the @ Issue Brief on PDMP. Use this brief as a tool to start the conversation with city and county leaders, our colleagues, and your patients. You can also download all of the Legislative Updates on what MAOPS has been doing as your advocate at the Capitol since the beginning of the 2017 legislative session.
If you have questions, need further information or want to participate in advocacy at the State Capitol, please contact me at BrianB@maops.org. Together, we can do so much!
*This blog was taken from the original editorial Straight Talk - Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs: A Look at the Pros and Cons, featured in the March 2017 issues of the Prognosis newsletter. Click here to read the entire article.