Mo. lawmakers working to begin tracking prescription drugs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you are sick or injured and need medication, your doctor writes you a prescription. But in Missouri, there's no way to track how many doctors you see or how many prescriptions you get.

Missouri lawmakers are working to change that. If they do, they'll fall in line with the rest of the country.

According to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), Missouri is the only state in the union without an operational or soon to be operational prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP).

Missouri House Bill 1133 jumped its first hurdle in the House, but still has a ways to go, including the Missouri Senate, where a similar bill died a couple years ago.

Adam Emo, a pharmacist and owner of Albers Pharmacy, says he wants a prescription drug monitoring database and Missouri needs one.

"Fraudulent prescriptions are a big problem in this area especially, St. Louis and Kansas City, lot of abusers out there, good tool to find and at least identify those patients that are doctor shopping," said Emo.

"Doctor shopping" is becoming more popular among those trying to get multiple prescription medications.

"They go to a dentist, they can go to regular physician or emergency room, they can go to all these different places and feel them out and try to get a prescription, if they fail to, they can go to the next one," Emo said.

Emo says once they've stockpiled their prescriptions, they start hitting pharmacies to get them filled. This is where Emo feels a database is necessary. Pharmacists would quickly and easily be able to verify the basics: the patient, the drug, how many pills and the date. Opponents say it's a breach of privacy, Emo disagrees.

"These prescriptions are dangerous if used improperly, or sold to kids, or drug abusers. They can be dangerous and potentially life threatening. I think even if someone has a privacy concern that should be overridden by the fact you are doing a public service by having system like this in place." said Emo.

If you'd like to follow the progress of the HB 1133, click this link.

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