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Source: US State of Missouri

Protecting Your Civil Liberties

On Monday evening, members of the Missouri Senate spent several hours debating House Bill 1693, which would establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program, or PDMP. It would create a state-ran database to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of all Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances. Your medical information and the prescriptions you take would be included in this database.

I believe the proposed is database would put your personal information at risk. Imagine if this database were hacked, and your medical information was compromised. This risk is one of the biggest problems I have with a PDMP. In my work outside of the State Capitol, I am a process architect who works with electronic medical records. The technology that would be used to create this database was not designed to seamlessly integrate with the systems physicians currently use for storing patient data. For this reason, I believe it does not make sense to design a duplicative database that does not integrate well with the existing health care community.

Throughout our discussion, I worked with supporters of HB 1693 in order to move the bill in a better direction by wrestling your private medical data away from a state-controlled database. While I am extremely happy the handler of HB 1693 took my recommendations to not create a government-owned database, I am also disappointed we could not agree on a more elegant solution that fully uses the existing infrastructure. Ultimately, the bill was referred to the Senate Fiscal Oversight Committee for their review, and the Senate passed the legislation on Thursday, March 12.

Please visit Sen. Burlison’s official Missouri Senate website at for more legislative and constituent resources.