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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order on Monday directing the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to create a prescription drug monitoring program.
Missouri was the only state that lacked a prescription drug monitoring program prior to the executive order.
The monitoring program will use “de-identified data from private sector partners to specifically target pill mills that pump out prescription drugs at dangerous and unlawful levels,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. “It will also enable the Department of Health and Senior Services to better inform doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, and patients and their families about best practices in pain management to decrease over prescriptions of opioids.”
Gov. Greitens said the program is a “big step” toward addressing the opioid crisis and his office will outline additional steps to combat the problem in the coming days.
“We need to be honest and clear about the scale of what we are up against: Opioids are a modern plague. … There is no single program, or law, or executive order that can fix this crisis,” Gov. Greitens said in the statement. “The only thing we won't do is wait. We won’t wait for this problem to get worse.”
The steady march away from opioid prescribing in workers compensation will continue into 2017, according to industry experts who call this ongoing shift in treating pain for injured workers a necessary, but complicated journey for all parties involved.