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House gives initial approval to Narcotics Control Act

HB 188, a prescription drug monitoring program bill, received first round approval in the House today. The sponsor of the bill is Rep. Holly Rehder.

Each drug dispenser covered by the bill must electronically send dispensation information, including the prescription information and patient information of each drug dispensed. The information must be sent within 24 hours of dispensation, and by 2022, the information must be sent in real-time. An extension on the time requirements can be given for temporary unforeseen circumstances. If a dispenser cannot send the information electronically, they may apply for a wavier to send the information in an alternative format. The information sent is confidential and the department must maintain procedures to unsure the privacy and confidentiality of the information.

The department must review the information sent by dispensers and if there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the law or a breach of professional standards may have occurred, law enforcement or the appropriate professional licensing board must be notified. The department may provide information collected to dispensers, a professional licensing board, law enforcement, or MO HealthNet.

An individual may also request his or her own dispensation information. The department may also provide data for statistical, research, or educational purposes after removing identifying information. The information cannot be used to prevent an individual from owning a firearm. The information cannot be used as the sole basis for probable cause to obtain an arrest or search warrant. A pharmacist or prescriber is not required to obtain information from the Narcotics Control Program before dispensing or prescribing a drug. The information will be removed from the program after a maximum of three years. The department may contract with another entity to develop and maintain the Narcotics Control Program. Any program already in effect that is being operated by a political subdivision can continue to operate until the state-wide program is available for use. A dispenser who fails to provide the dispensation information required or who knowingly submits the incorrect information will be fined up to $1,000 per violation. An appeal for the fine may be made to the Administrative Hearing Commission. A person who unlawfully accesses or discloses information from the Narcotics Control Program is guilty of a class E felony.

Associated Industries of Missouri supports the bill.

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