Pharmacists in Missouri may soon face penalties for failing to collect and submit detailed records of controlled substances. A new bill, which could become state law before the autumn of 2021, would establish both an electronic database and a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.
The bill would also create a task force to oversee compliance. As reported by The Missourian, the law would require dispensers to submit a patient’s records within 24 hours of filling a prescription. The database may hold private prescription records for up to three years. Missouri law would consider the information collected as a closed record.
A pharmacist may face allegations of unlawful conduct
The new bill proposes that failure to submit a patient’s record to the database could result in a hefty fine. To avoid penalties, pharmacists would need to submit all applicable prescription information including the drug’s name, dosage, strength and use. Both state and federal regulations would determine the information required.
Pharmacists could also face charges if they disclose database information for illicit purposes. Unlawful sharing of information from the database may result in a Class E felony charge.
The proposed prescription database may help enforce the Controlled Substances Act
A centralized database containing prescription data would enable law enforcement officials to actively monitor pharmacists for violations of the Controlled Substances Act. As noted by the Eastern District of Missouri U.S. Attorney’s Office, pharmacists represent the last line of defense in preventing prescription pill abuse. Connecting physicians, pharmacists and patients through an electronic database may help combat the dispensing of unlawful prescriptions.
Because of widespread prescription pill abuse, officials seek increased monitoring and record-keeping requirements. A pharmacist may come under investigation for failing to properly maintain or process prescription records.