To help fight a nationwide epidemic in the abuse of addictive painkillers, Jackson County on Monday took the first step toward setting up a computerized system to monitor the sale of certain prescription drugs.
The county legislature unanimously approved the ordinance authorizing its prescription drug monitoring plan but set no date for when it will be up and running. The program is estimated to cost $150,000 or less and would use software now being used by some of the 49 states with statewide monitoring programs.
Missouri is the only state without one.
In the absence of a statewide program, St. Louis and St. Louis County have established their own drug monitoring plans. Columbia and Boone County also have moved toward creating a local program.
Under the Jackson County plan, pharmacists would have seven days to provide information on each purchase of schedule II, III and IV controlled substances, or face up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail on each violation.
Doctors could then use the data to determine whether patients were getting multiple prescription to feed a drug habit. The data also would allow authorities to determine whether some doctors were too liberal in writing prescriptions for certain kinds of drugs.
Read more: Kansas City Star