The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was once again proposed in the Missouri House of Representatives and the Missouri Senate. The proponents claim that this program is needed to stop doctor shopping. What they don’t tell you is that in 2016, doctor shopping was responsible for only 1.7% of all misused prescriptions for pain medicine. 86.5% of the people who misused prescriptions for pain medicine got the prescription from one doctor or got it from a friend or relative who got it from one doctor. It also violates Article I, Section 15 of the Missouri Constitution because it is a mandatory, involuntary database. The ultimate goal is a national prescription database. These bills should never become law. Sen. Claire McCaskill sponsored an amendment in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act which allows local PDMPs to apply for federal grants. It has been adopted in St. Louis County, Jackson County (Kansas City), the city of Columbia and other cities and counties in Missouri, including Springfield and Greene County.
I calculated the actual number of deaths due to illicit fentanyl and prescription pain relievers (opioids). This is something the government is either unable or unwilling to do. Both of which are a problem. Here is my paper on the rise of illicit fentanyl. Illicit Fentanyl Click ⇒ Opioid Deaths to get the presentation.
Estimating the Actual Death Rate Caused by Prescription Opioid Medication and Illicit Fentanyl, on page 20. Click here for the link.
Here is a graph of all deaths due to a prescription opioid and illicit fentanyl in a stacked area chart. This is why the 2016 CDC numbers increased by 44%. Illicit fentanyl was included. When that is factored out of the total number, the deaths due to prescription opioids has leveled out. The biggest increase is illicit fentanyl which obviously the PDMP will never catch. Prescription drug deaths were essentially unchanged from 2014 to 2016. Deaths due to illicit fentanyl have increased 635% from 2014 to 2016. Free marketplace forces at work. You can not stop the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith.
Blue — if any prescription opioid was included in the cause of death.
Red — If illicit fentanyl was a cause of death and no prescription opioids were included.