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Health

Mo. Senate Hears Drug Monitoring Program Proposals

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Two bills that would create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri received a hearing Thursday before a State Senate committee. But one version of the bill is structured in a way that’s designed to block the proposal.

Physician and GOP Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph is an outspoken critic of prescription drug monitoring. He says it would violate citizens’ privacy rights.

“But I have agreed to carry the bill, given that it goes to a vote of the people, and that nothing will be construed to require a pharmacist or prescriber to obtain information about a patient from the database,” he said.

Schaaf admitted that his strategy is to pass a version of the bill that voters will likely defeat at the polls.  The other version would not require voter approval.

Supporters of a monitoring program say it would help combat doctor shopping, where drug addicts or dealers try to get multiple prescriptions of Oxycontin or similar controlled substances. 

No action was taken on either bill Thursday.

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