Missouri Pharmacy Association joins coalition supporting drug monitoring program

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A heavy hitter in the pharmaceutical lobbying business has joined a coalition for a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) that advocates will push in the 2016 legislative session.

The Missouri Pharmacy Association, helmed by CEO Ron Fitzwater, has joined the Missouri Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Coalition, also known as the PDMP NOW Coalition.

“The Missouri Pharmacy Association and pharmacists throughout Missouri have been ardent supporters of a PDMP in our state for a number of years,” Fitzwater said.

The latest endorsement from Fitzwater’s organization comes as legislation this coalition supports was filed by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, Friday. It is known as the Narcotics Control Act.” It would create a database of those at risk for narcotic addiction for pharmacists and physicians to use in withholding prescriptions of certain drugs, specifically narcotic painkillers.

Missouri is currently the only state in the nation without such a database.

“Once again, I am please to offer this important legislation that will help save lives and protect families and communities across Missouri from the dangers of prescription drug abuse,” Rehder said. “Last session, we came closer than ever to enacting a program that puts Missouri on par with the rest of the country in the fight against drug abuse.”

Abuse of prescription narcotics have lead to a startling rise in heroin use across the United States in recent years. Rehder; as well as this coalition, which consists of members of law enforcement, health care specialists, substance abuse and prevention support groups and now, the Missouri Pharmacy Association; believe such a database will help keep those at rick of addiction from being prescribed addictive narcotic painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and Demerol.