Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy

Document Type

Student Comment


Missouri had long been scrutinized as the only state operating without a prescription drug monitoring program. These programs are seen as an effective way to monitor prescription opioids as opioid-related deaths have risen in the past decade. The opioid crisis has gained significant media attention and cast scrutiny on pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and state and federal governments. This comment explores the history of the opioid crisis and details Missouri’s struggle to implement a prescription drug monitoring program legislatively. In 2017, former Governor Eric Greitens signed an Executive Order directing the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to implement one of these programs. This program is centered on law enforcement, and as written, aims to monitor and collect data that is already available via alternative means. For Missouri to successfully combat the opioid crisis, the state needs to utilize resources already at its disposal to create an effective means of monitoring prescription opioids. At the time of publication, the program had been implemented; however, there is no available data currently available to determine the effectiveness of the program.