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Rehder To Prefile Prescription Drug Monitoring Legislation


Missouri is the only state that does not have a prescription drug monitoring program. Republican State Representative Holly Rehder from Sikeston, Mo., is prefiling a bill to change that.

The prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) is a database that collects information to let doctors and pharmacists lets doctors and pharmacists know a patient's prescription history. The program is used to reduce the amount of medications that are sold on the street and to reduce the risk of doctor shopping and abusing painkillers for nonmedical reasons.

“Each day in the United States an estimated 46 people die due to prescription overdose,” Rehder said at a press conference at the capitol last week. “Nearly 15,000 people die in overdoses involving prescription painkillers. In 2010, one in 10 people aged 12 or older reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in the past year.”

Rehder has a personal reason for wanting this change. She said her daughter became addicted to prescription drugs when she was 17 years old.

“She cut her finger at work,” Rehder said. “ She went to the emergency room to get it stitched up and was given a script of Lorcets. When she finished that prescription she just started buying it from people at work. We’ve been 12 years down the road of ups and downs in rehabs.”

Rehder’s daughter is currently 6 months clean.

Rehder said there are some privacy concerns with the program. The program would allow for only doctors and pharmacists to obtain the information and police officers would have to obtain a warrant to access the information.

Bob Twillman from the American Academy of Pain Management said the program helps identify not only if people are abusing drugs, but identifying their addiction so they can get professional help.

The bill previously passed in the House but has run into some roadblocks in the Senate, including St. Joseph Senator Rob Schaaf, who said the database would violate the privacy of citizens. Rehder said she is willing to work with Schaaf and others in order to get the bill passed.

Jen Gradl was a student reporter at KRCU in 2014.