Missouri is the only state that does not have a prescription drug monitoring database, The New York Times reports. The state’s decision not to use such a drug-tracking tool has hampered efforts to fight prescription drug abuse.
People from neighboring states are coming to Missouri to stockpile pills and bring them home to use themselves or to sell to others, the newspaper reports.
The databases are used to identify people who go “doctor shopping” for multiple painkiller or tranquilizer prescriptions, and the physicians who overprescribe these medications. Almost all states either allow or require pharmacists to enter filled prescriptions into the database. Doctors or pharmacists review the data before deciding to fill another prescription. Rules vary from state to state. Forty-eight states have operational databases, and New Hampshire will begin using its database this year.