Battle Over Prescription Drug Monitoring Renewed for 2016 Legislative Session

Dueling versions of legislation would each create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri, the only state that doesn’t have one.

Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, pre-filed the House version of the bill Thursday, which would give doctors and pharmacists easy access to recent drug purchases by patients as a way to combat doctor shopping.

“After Florida’s inception of a prescription monitoring program, they saw a 24 percent decline in prescriptions for Oxycodone and an 8 percent decline for Methadone,” Rehder said. “Those are two drugs that are (the) most implicated in prescription drug overdoses and death.”

Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, talks about her pre-filed bill during a press conference Thursday at the Missouri Capitol.

On the other end of the spectrum is Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, who has long opposed efforts to create a prescription monitoring program. He says Rehder’s bill would allow too much access to patient records and violate their privacy.

“That version of the bill puts every person’s prescription drug data on a government database accessible by 30,000 people who would have a password,” Schaaf said. “That’s outrageous.”

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Source: STL Public Radio