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Days left in fight for Missouri opioid tracking bill

May 11, 2020 GMT

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Lawmakers are still trying to make Missouri the final state to adopt a prescription medication database to fight the opioid epidemic as their Friday deadline to pass bills approaches.

The state House on Monday voted against changes that state senators made to the bill and instead opted to send negotiators to hash out policy differences with the Senate.

Supporters of databases that track prescriptions for addictive drugs argue they can help doctors identify and treat patients struggling with opioid misuse, as well as prevent accidental deadly medication interactions among patients with multiple doctors.

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Bill sponsor Rep. Holly Rehder on Monday talked about the childhood sexual abuse her deceased mother and sister suffered and their consequent addictions to legally prescribed medications as she asked fellow lawmakers for their support.

“My hope is that you’ve listened to each story on how they initially came to use these powerful medications and realize that you or I may very well have responded in the same manner if we had been in their shoes,” Rehder said to colleagues on the House floor.

Critics question the effectiveness of such a program in stopping addiction and have raised concerns about private medical information ending up in the wrong hands.

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