Prescription drug monitoring program unlikely for Missouri this year

Two versions of prescription drug monitoring bills have once again been proposed in the Missouri General Assembly, but it is unlikely Missouri will join the rest of the United States in setting up such a program this year.

One bill, sponsored by Sen. Rob Schaaf, a longtime opponent of a drug monitoring program, focuses on privacy protection. It won Senate approval Thursday.

The other is sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, a longtime champion of the idea, and focuses on giving physicians access to information.

Advocates say such programs are needed to prevent “doctor shopping” — going to numerous doctors to get multiple prescriptions — and to curtail rising opioid addiction. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, 1,067 people died from opioid overdose in Missouri in 2014.

Schaaf challenges the argument that drug monitoring programs save lives.

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

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