JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rep. Holly Rehder’s bill enacting a statewide prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) passed out of the Senate Thursday morning — making Missouri one step closer to no longer being the lone state without such a system.
Rehder’s bill — what has become a labor of love for the Republican state representative as she’s served in the General Assembly — was tweaked in the Senate into what became somewhat of a compromise. Instead of the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) overseeing a PDMP, it would be up to a “Joint Oversight Task Force” to handle the program. That task force would be made up of physicians, pharmacists, and others.
The Senate substitute also included a three-year purge as well as a requirement that the information gathered from a PDMP only be utilized for health care services for a patient.
“I’m so thankful for all of the work that has been put in this week to get us to a PDMP program that is acceptable to all stakeholders,” Rehder told The Missouri Times. “I’m especially grateful to Sen. Luetkemeyer for his time and commitment to getting this life-saving policy out of the Senate. Praying we can get this out of the House next week and to the governor’s desk!”
A coalition of the Senate’s more conservative members has staunchly decried a statewide PDMP, mostly citing privacy concerns. Following the introduction of the substitute, Sen. Bob Onder praised the idea of a private-sector group overseeing the PDMP as a “big improvement.” Still, he did not vote for the bill Thursday morning.
Although Missouri doesn’t have a statewide PDMP, there have been several enacted on the local level, including in St. Louis.
The bill is now back in the House where it has been referred to Fiscal Review.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.