Columbia Area Legislators Express Support for Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Jul 22, 2015

Credit Pink Sherbert Photography / Flickr

Columbia area legislators agree that youth drug use could be stemmed by establishing a better way to track adult drug users.

State Representatives Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, and Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, all attended a legislative summit last week hosted by the Youth Advisory Council and Youth Community Coalition focusing on youth issues.

They said they would support a bill to establish a prescription drug monitoring program should one come through the General Assembly next session. 

Missouri is the only state in the nation without a prescription drug monitoring program, which tracks patients using Schedule II drugs and higher to help doctors identify patients abusing their prescriptions.

Rep. Rowden said the General Assembly sees a bill addressing this topic almost every year, but it is either weakened or filibustered in the state Senate. He told the crowd that the concern for some in the Senate is the possibility of a data breach.

Rep. Rowden, though, said the risk here is no greater than for other state programs that use citizen data.

“The trade-off is there is an opportunity that at some point some of their information gets into someone else’s—gets into the wrong hands. I think that’s a reality most of us live with every day in areas outside of prescription drug monitoring.”

Rep. Basye said he is more concerned about the possibility of a breach that some of his counterparts, but that he could see himself supporting a bill that had the right language.