Joplin opts-in to a prescription drug monitoring program

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Joplin has become one of several cities to opt-in to a prescription drug monitoring program.

“That’s where it basically all starts and all spirals out of control is with prescription medications,” says Joni Forbus, a pharmacist for The Medicine Shoppe.

Joplin is now one of several cities to opt-in to the St. Louis County Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The program is to help pharmacists see what prescriptions a person has filled in hopes to eliminate drug abuse.

“It’s a tool for that physician to use if they so desire to be able to check on a prescription history,” says Dan Pekarek, Joplin Health Dept. Director.

“We can keep track on if patients are abusing the system, seeing multiple doctors, paying cash at multiple pharmacies to get the prescriptions they are wanting or desiring,” says Joni Forbus.

With 57 jurisdictions already signed up for the program, pharmacists will be able to see across city and county lines if someone is doctor shopping. 

“Prescription drug abuse is very high in this area, so to have the prescription drug monitoring program is always a good thing,” says Joni Forbus.

“You know, we’ve just seen a significant increase in the number of opioid deaths, the number of individuals that have become addicted through the use of opioids, especially for long-term use of them,” says Dan Pekarek.

“And if we can stop it from getting out of the pharmacy and getting into other people’s hands that it doesn’t need to be then that can definitely help to decrease the patient overdoses and them turning their medications into something else more dangerous,” says Joni Forbus.

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