Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have become a public health crisis in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To curb this epidemic, 49 states — all but Missouri — have established Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP). While the Missouri Legislature has yet to create a statewide PDMP, Johnson County is joining other local governments to take action.
The Board of Trustees of Johnson County Community Health Services unanimously approved an ordinance to authorize operation of the Saint Louis County Prescription Drug Monitoring Program beginning May 1, 2017. Johnson County joins other local governments, including Jackson County, St. Louis County, Cole County, Benton County, Pettis County, Saline County and Jefferson County in the fight against prescription drug overdose and addiction.
“The Prescription Drug Monitoring program will prevent illegal activity and curb prescription drug addiction that negatively impacts the health and wellbeing of so many Americans and their loved ones. I am proud to see our community come together on this important issue. The County Commissioners, Western Missouri Medical Center and their clinics, Johnson County Ambulance, local law enforcement and local pharmacists supported this proposal and decided this is in the best interest of Johnson County. I also want to thank St. Louis County in taking the lead to combat this issue and for organizing the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program at the local level.” –Anthony Arton Administrator, Johnson County Community Health Services.
The monitoring program allows doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners and other health providers to access a secure database filled out by pharmacists. No personal information is shared outside of the database, and its use is covered by existing patient privacy laws.