KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tracking drugs -- who's buying them and how often? It's some information that would be readily available to pharmacies, for example, in order to curb prescription drug abuse if Missouri had a prescription drug monitoring database. However, some say it comes at too high of a price, the price of your privacy.
"Right now the increase has become of epidemic proportions here in the Kansas City area," Don Wells at the Heartland Center for Behavioral Change said.
Wells said prescription drug abuse is growing rapidly. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.7 percent of people in the metro misuse prescription drugs. The number is the same for the state of Missouri, and nationally, the rate is at 4.9 percent. Wells says one issue with prescription drug abuse is that it appeals to all populations.
"It's mom, it's dad, it could be grandma," said Wells.
Adam Emo, owner of Alber's Pharmacy, says the drugs would be harder to get with a prescription drug monitoring database.
"It's been proven in many states to deter drug abusers and seekers," Emo explained.
Missouri is the only state that doesn't have a database. Emo says because Missouri doesn't have a database, it attracts dealers and addicts from neighboring states to come to the state for prescription drugs. He says without a database, it can be impossible to track someone's drug use.
"You just don't know, I mean there is really no way to look up a patient's medical history when they come in with a prescription, especially if they're paying cash," Emo explained.
Still others, like State Senator Rob Schaaf, a medical doctor who's been openly opposed to the database, tweeted to his followers Tuesday:
Ask yourself: Do you want the government to know what meds you take? Do you want 26,000 MO people to have access? That's what a PDMP is!
— Dr. Rob Schaaf (@robschaaf) July 22, 2014