Jackson, St. Louis counties team up to track prescription drug abuse

Jackson County announced Tuesday that it will join St. Louis County in a prescription drug monitoring program as a way to fight abuse of painkillers.

Jackson County executive Frank White signed a contract from his seat in Kansas City, finalizing the agreement to join St. Louis County’s program. Even after hiring a program coordinator, the Jackson County program is estimated to cost $150,000 or less.

Missouri is the only state in the nation without a system to track the sales of prescription drugs.

Despite repeated attempts over the past decade and wide support from health advocates, law enforcement and others, the General Assembly has been unable to pass legislation that would set up a statewide program. A small number of opponents have blocked those bills, citing privacy concerns.

Hearings on two competing proposals, Senate Bill 74 and Senate Bill 231, are set for Wednesday in Jefferson City before the Senate Health and Pensions Committee.

Read more: Kansas City Star, St. Louis Public Radio

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