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County adopts prescription drug monitoring program

The Cape Girardeau County Commission unanimously adopted an ordinance to participate in the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) on Aug 14.

Nearby counties, including Sainte Genevieve, Stoddard, Bollinger and Perry, have already implemented Saint Louis County’s PDMP.

The Cape Girardeau County Health Department has been researching this PDMP for the past year, and have written six drafts of the ordinance they passed on Monday. They have also spent this year to talk to various stakeholders including the local hospitals and pharmacists.

The PDMP would create a secure database of individuals’ prescription drug history for pharmacists and other health care providers who prescribe controlled substances.

The PDMP is being created to try to stop “doctor shopping” and allow prescribers to see how often a patient has been prescribed addictive medications like opioid painkillers, and allow them to combat narcotic abuse.

Presiding Commissioner Clinton Tracy pointed out this database will not be accessed by law enforcement unless through the normal warrant process.

Missouri is currently the only state without its own PDMP. The ordinance has a provision that if the state adopts a similar PDMP, the county can revisit the ordinance to participate in the potential state-wide program.

The cost of this program will be $5,550 per year for the next three years. The county health department wrote a grant that may be able to pay for the first two years.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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