Two sides arguing whether Missouri should move to control prescription drug abuse have gotten into “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” fight. But the phrase has a little different context in this case.
Farmington Senator Kevin Engler wants doctors’ prescriptions entered into a database so doctors will know if patients are getting prescriptions for drugs from several doctors. Pharmacists also would note on the database the names of people getting the prescriptions so it could quickly be determined somebody is more interested in dealing than it healing.
But Senator Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph doctor, calls the list “a terrible infringement on liberty.” He denies Engler’s claim that the absence of a prescription medicine database is leading to dozens of deaths every year and contributes to criminal actions.
Engler calls the growth of prescription drug crime an “epidemic” He recalls one woman in his area who got 108 prescriptions by doctor shopping, who then filled all those prescriptions for street sales.
Schaaf and allies are ready to launch an extensive delaying effort when the bill comes back up after the legislature’s spring break.