prescription drugs

pills
The Javorac / Flickr

The Missouri Senate passed a measure on Thursday, April 2, to set-up a prescription drug monitoring database. It would track when prescriptions are written and filled. The goal is to prevent abuse of addictive pills such as painkillers.

The bill includes protections for the data and limits on accessing it, as well as penalties for improper use or sharing of the information.

The Senate version now goes to the House, which approved a similar program. All 49 other states already have similar laws.  

Sharyn Morrow / Flickr

Prescription drug abuse can start with a routine problem, like lower back pain. A doctor will prescribe medication for the patient, but the pain doesn't go away. So the patient takes more medicine. 

And this behavior could lead to an addiction, said Len Paulozzi, an epidemiologist for the CDC. He finds patterns of drug abuse. 

Drugs, privacy, prison. Those three things are linked to the debate over prescription drug databases -- and Missouri is the only state in the U.S. without one.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Saturday is sponsoring a nationwide prescription drug take-back event.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., anyone can turn in their expired or unwanted medications at thousands of police stations, pharmacies, and other sites across the country, including here in St. Louis.

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The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation to renew an expiring prescription drug benefit for over 200,000 low-income and disabled seniors.

The Missouri Rx Program is scheduled to expire in August, but the measure endorsed on Wednesday would extend the benefit until 2017. State officials estimate more than 9 million prescription drug claims will be filed for 230,000 Missourians during the current budget year. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has called on lawmakers to renew the program.

pills
The Javorac / Flickr

Missouri House members have endorsed the creation of a government database to track people's prescription drug purchases.

Drug Take Back Program visits Columbia

Oct 24, 2013

The Drug Take Back Program is collecting prescription drugs today in Columbia. Ryan Worley, Coordinator of the Youth Community Coalition, is in charge of the program. He said unused prescription drugs can sometimes be accessible to and abused by family members if they are not disposed of properly.

“These are not safe to abuse. They are drugs they are powerful, and they should only be taken the way a doctor prescribes them,” Worley said.

faucet
Jenn Durfey / flickr

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department collected almost 650 pounds of prescription drugs from drop-off locations around Boone County in a drug pick-up event this past weekend … and the sheriff’s department reports there is an increase in people dropping off prescriptions for environmental reasons.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Two bills that would create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri received a hearing today before a State Senate committee.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

 A Missouri senator has successfully killed a bill that would have authorized a government database to track people's prescription drug purchases.