Gov. Parson signs Missouri prescription drug monitoring database into law

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FILE – This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. In a resumption of a brutal trend, nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new record high that predates the COVID-19 crisis. The numbers were driven by fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids, which accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths. (U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri became the final state to adopt a prescription drug monitoring database on Monday.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill enabling the program aimed at flagging possible opioid misuse.

Missouri lawmakers struggled for years to pass such legislation over primarily Republican concerns that a medication database could be hacked, jeopardizing patient privacy.

The measure finally made it across the finish line in May.

Most of Missouri already is covered by a prescription database. At a minimum, an estimated 85% of Missourians fall under the monitoring program run by St. Louis County and joined by numerous other counties across the state, according to the St. Louis County website.

Advocates have argued expanding the program statewide will give lawmakers more oversight of the program and prevent people from loading up on prescriptions in the areas that are still not covered.

The Missouri plan would only collect data on medications that are considered controlled substances, such as opioid painkillers and some anti-anxiety drugs. The data could not be provided to law enforcement and only could be used for medical treatment.

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