February 5, 2016

Prescription monitoring bill wins, loses (AUDIO)

Missouri could be the last state in the nation to adopt a prescription drug monitoring law. The senate has tentatively approved a proposal.  But an eight-hour filibuster is likely to have ended any chance of a bill getting passed this year.

Sponsor Kevin Engler of Farmington says Missouri is one of only two states without such a law.

AUDIO: Engler :17

He says New Hampshire’s legislature is on the verge of making that state the 49th state to adopt a prescription drug monitoring law. But Senator Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph sees the bill as a public danger.

AUDIO: Schaaf :13

Schaaf kicked off a filibuster against a proposal already approved by the House. Backers say a statewide database listing all prescriptions that are filled will help law enforcement officers track those who are doctor-shoppers, getting multiple prescriptions for drugs they then sell.

Schaaf and his allies complain the database would be in infringement of personal liberty.

AUDIO: Schaaf :27 

More than eight hours after Schaaf started the filibuster against a House-passed bill, Engler produced a re-written senate version of the measure that contained many of the things Schaaf and ally Lu Ann Ridgeway demanded.  Only 16 of the 34 senators were still in the capitol to give the bill tentative approval a little after 9:30 last night.

Senate floor leader Tom Dempsey says, however, no final vote on the bill will be taken in the senate. Engler admits it would be a long-shot to get it through the House in the last two weeks of the session. He holds out some hope the language might be added to a bill the House will be working on in the session’s last days.

Engler cannot seek another term in the senate. He is running for a House seat and says the proposal will be back in the legislature next year.