By Brad Tregnago and Hank Koebler of KSSZ
Columbia could join Saint Louis County and other local governments by starting its own database that checks how many prescriptions people are having filled.
City Councilman Michael Trapp says it’s too easy to cheat the system.
“[You can] go from doctor to doctor to doctor and tell each of them about your back pain, and walk out of each of them with a pain pill prescription, and then be at dangerous levels of a very dangerous medication without anyone being the wiser.”
Missouri is the only state in the country without a prescription drug monitoring program.
Trapp says the database would cost Columbia about $12,000-$13,000 a year, after some startup costs. He adds it’s not about throwing people in jail.
“If there’s been a rapid number of prescription refills, then the medical professionals need to know about that, and that needs to be addressed like a medical problem.”
Missouri is the only state in the country without a prescription drug monitoring program. State Representative Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) has sponsored a bi-partisan bill in the legislature to create such a program, but strong opposition from state senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) has kept the bill from moving forward.