What is it?
The City of Columbia and Boone County joined the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP. It monitors the prescribing and dispensing of schedule II-IV drugs.
Why are we doing this?
Substance abuse, including prescription drugs, is a problem in our city and county. It was cited by our residents as a major issue during focus groups and community surveys during work on the 2013 Community Health Assessment.
Between 2010 and 2014, emergency room discharges for opioid diagnosis in Boone County increased 113.6 percent, while Missouri only saw an increase of 19.9 percent. In the same five years, hospital discharges for opioid diagnosis in Boone County increased 46.7 percent, while Missouri only saw an increase of 25.1 percent.
How does it work?
The PDMP requires dispensers, or pharmacists, in Boone County to electronically enter information on schedule II-IV drugs that they dispense into a database within seven business days.
Local health care providers can request access, but do not enter any patient data into the PDMP. Registered health care providers can look up a patient’s prescription history, allowing them to improve patient care. In addition, the system will alert registered users when a patient has crossed an established threshold.
There are no costs to pharmacies or health care providers to access the PDMP.
How is the PDMP being used?
The program aims to improve patient care by providing a patient’s controlled substance prescription history, identifying patients at high-risk who would benefit from early interventions, and reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose.
How is the privacy of my data handled?
St. Louis County’s PDMP is HIPAA compliant, so personal medical information is protected. Also, the PDMP database contractor is operating the PDMP in over 20 other states and assures the protection of personally identifiable health information.
What is the cost of the PDMP?
The U.S. Department of Justice recently awarded the St. Louis County Department of Public Health $1 million in grant funding to address the opioid epidemic. This money will cover the cost for two years to join the PDMP for all current and potential participating jurisdictions. In addition, the funds will finance regional collaboration to address the opioid epidemic in Missouri. This will allow for the spread of innovative solutions and development of community based interventions. St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield will collect and share information in support of this project.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services receives aggregate and de-identified county-specific quarterly reports on prescribing practices. This enables us to describe overall trends and patterns in prescribers, pharmacies and patients at a population level to characterize the nature of the issue.