State Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, will pre-file a bill in December that would create a program to monitor how many prescription drugs people are having refilled, to look for cases of abuse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths from opioids, like morphine and oxycodone, have nearly quadrupled since 1999.
Rehder, a Republican, says Missouri is the only state in the country without a prescription drug monitoring program. She says developing such a system is a nonpartisan issue.
Veteran State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, who is a family physician, threatened to block Rehder’s legislation this year. After citing privacy concerns, he filed his own bill. Schaaf’s office says he plans to file similar legislation for next year’s session.
The Missouri House approved Rehder’s bill this year by an 87 to 66 vote, but it ran into a threatened Senate filibuster from Schaaf because of his privacy concerns. Schaaf’s bill was heard in a Senate committee this year, but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote.
Read more: Missourinet