Missouri Democratic governor candidate Chris Koster says he would work with state legislators in both parties to enact a prescription drug monitoring program. He retweeted Friday evening an earlier Missourinet story and vowed to do so if he becomes the state’s next top leader. Koster faces Republican Eric Greitens in November’s general election.
State Representative Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) tells Missourinet that she plans to pre-file a bill that would require the creation of a program in Missouri to check how many prescription drugs people are having refilled, to detect cases of abuse. She has sponsored such legislation since taking office in 2013.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths from opioids, like morphine and codeine, have nearly quadrupled since 1999.
Rehder testified earlier this year before U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) about her personal fight in the war on opioid abuse. Rehder’s daughter has struggled with opioid addiction since the age of 17. McCaskill supports Rehder’s measure and has criticized State Senator Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph), who has stood in Rehder’s way in other previous legislative attempts.
Schaaf, who is a family physician, has threatened to block Rehder’s bill. He argues that her proposal will not stop people from selling prescription drugs on the black market.
Schaaf instead filed his own bill this session that he says would address privacy concerns that her bill does not include. Schaaf’s office tells Missourinet he’ll file similar legislation again for next year’s session.
Rehder contends that no constitutional violations have been raised with the systems in all other states. Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug monitoring system.
To view an earlier story, click here.