ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The association that represents Missouri’s doctors says Governor Greitens’ prescription drug monitoring program is not nearly as good as the one established by St. Louis County.

Missouri State Medical Association’s Governmental Affairs Director Jeff Howell says the plan is basically half of the plan that’s been debated in the legislature, the law enforcement issue.

“The government’s going to keep track of prescription records and someone in the government is going to deem what is appropriate and what is inappropriate prescribing and they’re going to discipline licencees based on that information,” he says.

But Howell says it doesn’t allow doctors to see past prescribing information. He says the state should encourage more counties to join St. Louis County’s program, which he says is very effective.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is gearing up to put the state’s program into place.

Director Dr. Randall Williams says they’re jumping right on it.

“We’re ready to go. We need to hire some more people because we anticipate there will be a significant increase in findings, but as soon as the office of administrations executes the contract, for which we’re paying $250 thousand, we’ll be ready to go,” he says.

He expects that to be within a month, calling it an “incredible honor” to oversee the new drug monitoring program.

Williams says by tapping into the sophisticated data analysis systems already in use by companies like Express Scripts, they can start to attack the opioid-abuse “epidemic” that claimed more than 900 lives in Missouri last year.

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