Calling painkiller abuse a “modern plague,” Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens sidestepped the Legislature on Monday to create his own version of a prescription drug monitoring program.
In issuing an executive order to try to bring Missouri in line with the rest of the nation, the Republican governor launched a weeklong series of events designed to focus on opioid abuse and drug trafficking.
The order directs the database to be built by the Department of Health and Senior Services, with help from St. Louis-based, pharmacy benefit management company Express Scripts and other “private-sector” partners. Greitens said it will take $250,000 in state money to set up the database.
Greitens said he was moving forward on the database without the GOP-led House and Senate’s endorsement because opioid abuse must be addressed.
His plan differs significantly from what has been debated in the Legislature and what is in place in other states and in more than 26 counties and jurisdictions across Missouri.