Sater proposes Prescription Drug Monitoring Act

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

State senator wants to curb prescription drug abuse

State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, has sponsored a bill that would establish the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act.

"We're the last state in the union that hasn't set up a drug monitoring program, which is not a very good distinction to have," said Sater, who pre-filed Senate Bill 63 on Dec. 1, 2014. "Prescription drug abuse is the most rapidly rising drug problem that we have."

Every day in the U.S., 114 people die as a result of drug overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills," according to the CDC.

The bill states the Department of Health and Senior Services would establish and maintain the program to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II through Schedule IV controlled substances in Missouri. The provisions of this act are subject to appropriations and also may be funded through federal or private entities.

Under the program, a dispenser electronically submits information to Health and Senior Services for each prescription and specifies the frequency of the submissions. The dispenser can get a waiver to submit the information in paper format or by approved means.

All submitted prescription information will be kept confidential, but the act authorizes the release of non-personal, general information for statistical, educational and research purposes.

Dispensers who knowingly fail to submit the required information or submit incorrect dispensation information could face penalties and be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. People who are authorized to have dispensation information must not knowingly disclose such information or use it in a manner and for a purpose in violation of the act, or they could be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Sater has filed the bill twice since taking office in 2012. During his first year as Senator, the bill came out of committee and got to the Senate floor, but then the state had to deal with an incident involving concealed weapons permits.

"Somehow, personal data was being transmitted from Jefferson City to the federal government, and it wasn't supposed to be," he said. "And so, that got a lot of senators and representatives very upset about this breached personal data, and so everything kind of shut down, then, on having another database. But, I think that has pretty much subsided now, and I think it will have a better chance this year."

If passed, the bill could take effect Aug. 28. Beginning Aug. 28, 2017, Health and Senior Services should discard the data obtained by the program every two years.

Sater, who is a 1972 graduate of the University Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, said he sold controlling interests in Sater Pharmacy 12 years ago.

"I still own a very, very small part of the pharmacy, but I am not active in the pharmacy anymore," he said.

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