The governor will sign prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation into law Monday (today) in Jefferson City, making Missouri the 50th and final state to have the PDMP program.
Governor Mike Parson (R) plans to sign bipartisan PDMP legislation from State Sen. Holly Rehder (R-Scott City) and State Rep. Travis Smith (R-Dora) Monday afternoon, on the Missouri Capitol lawn in Jefferson City. If it’s raining, the ceremony will be moved inside.
A PDMP is an electronic database that collects data on controlled substance prescriptions within a state. Rehder, Smith, and other PDMP supporters say informed doctors make better decisions.
Rehder’s Senate Bill 63 will establish the “Joint Oversight Task Force of Prescription Drug Monitoring” within the state Office of Administration (OA). Members would be selected from the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, the Board of Pharmacy, the Board of Nursing, and the Missouri Dental Board.
There are legislative critics of PDMP, in Rehder and Smith’s party.
State Sen. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) worries about potential data breaches, and State Rep. Justin Hill (R-Lake St. Louis) has privacy concerns about PDMP.
This is the ninth straight year that Rehder has filed PDMP. She filed it every year she was in the Missouri House, from 2013-2020. Rehder, who was forced out of the House by term limits, was elected to the state Senate in November 2020.
While the Missouri House and Senate approved PDMP last year, they passed different versions.
The issue is a personal one for Rehder, who has urged the Legislature not to judge people “unless you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.” During an emotional May 2020 House floor speech, Rehder revealed to legislative colleagues that her late mother and late sister were both sexually assaulted multiple times, and turned to prescription drugs for their pain.
Senator Rehder has said several times that she’s thankful that God has given her the ability to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. She also says Missouri’s medical professionals must have the knowledge of what their patients are on, before prescribing more medication.
As for Smith, the issue is personal to him as well. He is the secretary for the Ozarks Healthcare Board in far southern Missouri.
The bill has been a top priority for health groups. It’s also been a priority for the Missouri Farm Bureau, which is the state’s largest general farm organization.
Once the governor signs SB 63, it will take effect on August 28.