The Missouri House Fiscal Review Committee is expected to vote Monday in Jefferson City on prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) legislation.
The House gave initial approval to the bill last week, after an emotional three-hour debate.
State Rep. Shawn Rhoads (R-West Plains) voted for PDMP. Rhoads is a former detective in southern Missouri.
“I’m sure the gentleman from St. Charles, the (Rep. Justin) Hill district or maybe the gentleman from Buchanan (county) has had to go to somebody’s house and tell them that their loved one has overdosed and died because somebody was doctor shopping, selling them drugs and they’ve overdosed on it,” Rhoads said Wednesday afternoon on the House floor.
The House gave initial approval to State Rep. Holly Rehder’s (R-Sikeston) bill in a voice vote. The bill could receive final House approval this week.
Critics say there is no proof the bill will stop illegal prescriptions.
The critics include State Rep. Justin Hill (R-Lake St. Louis), a former St. Charles County undercover detective. Hill says a database won’t work, and that “the problem are the drug dealers, and they are physicians.”
State Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) also criticizes his fellow Republican Rehder’s bill.
“As of 2014, Missouri ranked 24th in the nation related to the number of deaths due to prescription drug overdose, and we’re not participating in the PDMP,” Moon says on the House floor. “You’d think that Missouri would be number one in the abuse category, but we’re not.”
Rehder says the most important part of her bill is getting “to the root” of this addiction. Rehder tells her House colleagues that emergency room visits for opioids by Missouri Medicaid patients increased more than 400 percent last year.
The Missouri Hospital Association, Missouri Pharmacy Association, Missouri Retailers Association and the Missouri Police Chiefs Association were among those who testified this year for Rehder’s bill.