SB 314 – PDMP would harm, not help, patient care

Dear Distinguished Members of the Missouri Legislature:

We write today in opposition to SB 314, a bill to facilitate the monitoring of Schedule II, III, and IV prescriptions written by Missouri physicians for their patients.  As physicians, we take an oath to “first do no harm” which is why we are speaking out against this legislation today.

Those supporting this bill no doubt hope to lessen the misuse of certain medications.  This is a worthy goal; however, interfering with the patient-physician relationship with more rules and regulations is the wrong solution.  SB 314 will not only fail to solve the problem but will cause additional damage.

Red tape and bureaucratic mandates, proliferating on a national and state level, are harming patient care. Inserting additional bureaucracy between patients and physicians, as is done by SB 314, will inevitably lead to loss of access to vital medical care for Missouri’s pain patients.

Pain patients across the country are encountering increasing challenges in finding appropriate care as physicians incorrectly take the blame for misuse of certain medications. These patients and their physicians require the freedom to make decisions about appropriate care without second guessing by the State of Missouri.

In addition, SB 314 is not evidence-based policy. Data from other states demonstrate no improvement in misuse/misdirection of controlled substances or a decrease in deaths as a result of implementation of similar provisions.

If PDMP laws work one would expect Missouri to be number one in the nation in misuse of scheduled medications and related-deaths. Instead we fall in the middle.  These laws simply fail to achieve their stated goals.

Finally, PDMP laws are a blatant violation of Article I Section 15 of the Missouri Constitution. SB 314 violates patient security and privacy and therefore causes harm.

“First Do No Harm” should be the motto of all those who write these prescriptions for patients in the first place. To be true patient advocates, we must discourage the support of data collection on our patients in any form regardless of the best of intentions and especially when doing so will degrade patient care.

Sincerely,

Missouri Chapter, AAPS
Jennifer Powell MD FAAFP, President of the Missouri Chapter

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