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City of Columbia starts drug-monitoring program: what to expect

A prescription drug-monitoring program, or PDMP, officially started in the city of Columbia on Monday.

The program is under a city ordinance that follows, and works with, a PDMP ordinance in St. Louis County.

Under the PDMP, prescription providers are required to input any Schedule II, III or IV filled prescriptions into a database within at least seven days after dispensing the prescription.

Bill Morrissey, a pharmacist at Kilgore’s, said most customers won’t notice a difference when they fill a prescription.

He also said that as a pharmacist, he won’t have any extra work to do, such as input the prescriptions into a database, because the process is done through a computer automatically.

Christopher Sampson, an emergency physician at University Hospital, said the PDMP will ultimately help doctors treat patients more efficiently because doctors will be able to look at the patient’s prescription history– at least the prescriptions covered under the PDMP– and treat them accordingly.

According to the city’s PDMP, prescription providers do not have to be a part of the program. But if a provider wanted to have access to a patient’s history of controlled substance prescriptions, they would have to request an account and provide proper credentials.

Sampson said he has registered to be a part of the program. He said the information can also help determine if a patient is a controlled substance abuser.

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