COLUMBIA, Mo. - The City of Columbia has taken another step on the road to joining Saint Louis County's prescription drug monitoring program.
The city council will have a first reading of the ordinance during their February 20 meeting. The second reading and vote will happen at their March 6 meeting.
Because the council has a busy agenda already scheduled for March 6, members of the public who wish to comment are encouraged to contact their council-person directly.
"We’re encouraging people rather than go and have to sit there until maybe after midnight or 1 a.m. to make comment, if they are wanting to make comment, we are encouraging them to contact their council member by phone, or email,” said Scott Clardy, the assistant director for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Clardy said the council always has the option to tweak ordinances, but thinks the language they came up with will pass council.
“As far as we’re concerned, we’ve got the language set for what we are going to be proposing to city council, but they can always change it," said Clardy.
Missouri is currently the only state in the country without a PDMP. Many opponents site possible privacy issues for patients. Clardy said access to the medical information requires acquiring a username and password from Saint Louis County, the PDMP host.
"The ordinance is very clear that all state and federal privacy laws have to be followed,” said Clardy.
If Columbia joins Saint Louis County's program, they'll be with Saint Genevieve County, Saint Charles County, Jackson County and Cole County.