Sikeston lawmaker pushes again for statewide drug database - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sikeston lawmaker pushes again for statewide drug database

MISSOURI (KFVS) -

A state representative from Sikeston, Missouri will once again lead the effort to try and create a data base to track dangerous prescription drugs in Missouri.

"The model legislation that's been done across the country and his working very well is what we want to pass,” said Holly Rehder of Sikeston.

But Rehder knows that won't be easy.

This is the third time she will sponsor legislation to create a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

"We still have the same concerns as in years past.  And that is with Senator Schaaf."

Senator Rob Schaaf, who's also a doctor, said a PDMP will compromise your privacy and has championed the fight against it.  

"We do have new leadership in the Senate,” Rehder said.  “And with last year, with Dr. Schaaf coming to the board to negotiate, I do feel hopeful there might be some room for compromise."

Missouri remains the only state in the nation without a statewide system to track prescriptions and possible abuse.

Rehder began her push for one after seeing her own daughter struggle with a drug addiction that began with prescription pain pills.

"Since then, I have had countless parents, family members, husbands, wives who've reached out to me, contacted me. A mother, who in the halls of the capitol handed me a copy of her son's death certificate. A 23 year old. These are the things that are happening.”

Senator Schaaf has said he wants a system operated out of the Department of Senior Services, but one that would not allow pharmacists or doctors to see the data.

Rehder said the pharmacists and doctors she's working with told her there's no way that would work, plus it came back with a $6 million a year price tag. 

"This is a medical decision as to whether to prescribe opiates, a narcotic, to someone or not. That's a medical decision. The decision doesn't need to be made with folks in the department," she said.

Schaaf isn't the only "no" vote.

Rehder said there are other House and Senate members with the same privacy concerns

"To me, and to the majority of the senators and representatives, this is just an extension of electronic medical records," she said. "So, this is another tool for your physician to be able to treat you properly and with the best care."

And Rehder argues, this information is already in other databases. 

"Your insurance company has this information. Your pharmacist already has this information. Now that we have electronic medical records, when your doctor is prescribing you a narcotic he's putting it into a database at that time," she said. "So, it's really this information is available now if folks wanted to hack into it. They don't."

"It's very important to note that the information is secure. It's as secure as our medical records are now. It falls under HIIPA requirements. So, to me it's not a privacy issue. It's an extension of medical records and there are many senators and representatives who feel the same."

"So, Missouri right now is definitely the donut hole. And this is one tool that all of the other states are using. We have eight states around us. So, we're not only hurting us, we're hurting these other states as their constituents come into our state to get prescriptions, to get them filled, and then go back home and sell them or overdose, take them. It's just, it's too much."

Representative Rehder pre-filed the measure on Thursday afternoon.

We will follow its progress in 2016.

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