Published Online: Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kansas is 1 of 15 states currently without a prescription-monitoring program, but that will change if legislation recently introduced in the state senate becomes law.

S 491, introduced by pharmacist Vicki Schmidt (R, Topeka) would authorize the Board of Pharmacy to create a statewide database into which pharmacists would record each time a prescription for potentially addictive drugs is filled. Physicians would have access to the information, so that they could check which prescriptions patients filled before prescribing another drug. It is hoped the monitoring system also will help curb the practice of "doctor shopping."

Neighboring Missouri also lacks a program, and prescription-monitoring legislation recently passed out of committee there and is awaiting a hearing before the full senate.

Thirty-five states have enacted legislation requiring prescription- monitoring programs, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Diversion Control; 26 of these programs are currently operating, and 9 are in the startup phase.

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