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Missouri Prescription Drug Monitoring Program bill will soon be - KOAM TV 7

Missouri Prescription Drug Monitoring Program bill will soon be re-introduced

Updated:
Today is the first day that Missouri state representatives can file their bills for consideration in 2015.

State representative Holly Rehder is re-introducing a bill that could bring a prescription monitoring program to the state of Missouri.

The proposed Prescription Drug Monitoring Program would allow Missouri pharmacies to share patient information, which state representatives say would prevent people from filling the same prescription at multiple locations, what some call 'doctor shopping.'

"They go from doctor to doctor to get prescription medication, whether it's narcotics or other medication, and then use it or abuse it, or turn around and sell those drugs," said state representative Charlie Davis, District 128.

The Medicine Shoppe owner David Starrett says he supports the measure.

"Crime, addiction, overdoses, if it can prevent those types of things from happening in our state and in our community, I think it's a good thing," Starrett said.

The program comes at no cost to the pharmacies, and Starrett does not expect it to be time-consuming.

"It is all computerized, just a matter of a few key strokes," he said. "I really don't think it's going to take that much time."

Only pharmacists and physicians would be able to access the program and law enforcement officials must first request a warrant before being able to obtain any information from it.

This year's measure, House Bill 1133, never reached a Senate vote, and did face some opposition.

Senator Rob Schaaf is opposed to the program, due to privacy concerns regarding the security of the database.

"We have seen many websites, whether it's retailers getting hacked or government websites that get hacked, and there are some problems or concerns about the security of the website," Davis said.

Since it has been effective for other states, supporters say it is worth implementing.

"Missouri is the only state in the United States that does not have this Prescription Drug Monitoring Program," Davis said.

"It's just another tool that we have to help serve the community in a positive way," Starrett said.

This bill, along with others filed, will go to committee once the 2015 legislative session begins on January 7.
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