STL County releases report about its prescription drug monitoring program

St. Louis County has released details regarding the results of its drug monitoring program on Tuesday.

The County’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) which launched in April, seeks to improve opioid prescribing by providing critical information regarding a patient’s controlled substance history and informing clinical practices by identifying patients at high-risk.

From left to right: County Councilman Dolan, County Executive Stenger, County Councilman Page

According to St. Louis County the PDMP found:

  • Those aged 65 years and older received the highest rates of controlled substances.
  • Opioids are the most frequently prescribed drug type and represent approximately 40 percent of controlled substance prescriptions.
  • The St. Louis County opioid dispensation rate is 632.0 opioid prescriptions per 1,000 populations which is significantly lower than the overall PDMP (642.5 opioid prescriptions per 1,000 populations).
  • Hydrocodone, oxycodone, and tramadol are the 3 most frequently prescribed opioids and comprise 85 percent of opioid prescriptions. Over 90 percent of opioid prescriptions are low dose (<50 morphine milligram equivalents).

St. Louis County enacted legislation sponsored by Councilman Sam Page on March 1, 2016, to establish and authorize the operation of a PDMP by Saint Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH).

The St. Louis County PDMP is the first locally based PDMP in the country. DPH serves as the program administrator, and any Missouri jurisdiction may subscribe to the St. Louis County PDMP upon enacting authorizing legislation and by signing a user agreement with St. Louis County.

The County’s PDMP launched in April, with 14 jurisdictions participating in the implementation. As of September, 48 of the area’s jurisdictions have enacted legislation to participate in the program.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said the program is an important tool to fighting the area’s drug abuse.

“This report includes the first tangible numbers from our PDMP,” Stenger said in a written statement. “With our program now covering 52 jurisdictions and 74% of the population, our PDMP will continue to be an important component in our fight against the deadly opioid epidemic.”

Stenger also thanked Councilman Page who was the main sponsor of the PDMP legislation. “I want to again thank Sam for his contribution to and support of this initiative,” he said.

St. Louis County is using a $400,000 federal grant to cover all PDMP costs for participating counties. The grant will also support the hiring of an additional PDMP staff member, and provide funds for engagement, education, and reporting.

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