- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Joplin Globe, July 22

Missouri, the lone holdout:

Missouri continues to be the only state in the United States that won’t allow a prescription drug database to be established.

Since it is the method by which all the other states in America identify the people who fraudulently obtain painkillers and the pill-mill doctors who prescribe them, we can’t figure out why the state doesn’t employ such a database.

The New York Times, in a front-page story Sunday, raises the issue. It reports that Missouri has been urged to put the database into effect. Missouri medical associations, members of Congress from neighboring states, the White House and even Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, a St. Louis manufacturer of the prescription painkiller oxycodone, are all behind the measure.

The opposition to the database comes from a small group of Missouri lawmakers who say it would violate personal privacy. Republican Sen. Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph family physician, kept a 2012 version of the bill from passing.

Meanwhile, the Times reported, new data suggest that Missouri has become targeted by out-of-state drug seekers and sellers: “A report by ExpressScripts, which processes prescriptions for 90 million Americans, found that residents of its eight neighboring states travel into Missouri to fill their prescriptions much more often than Missourians fill theirs elsewhere - possibly indicating a desire to avoid those states’ drug monitoring programs.”

We know that prescription painkillers have become the new drug of choice, especially among teens and young adults. Law enforcement officers are frustrated by Missouri’s refusal to combat the abuse of drugs such as Xanax, Valium and hydrocodone.

We think there are lots of good reasons to travel to Missouri, but the ability to go to a pharmacy, use fraud in order to get a prescription filled and cross state lines to sell the pills is not our idea of tourism.

Legislators, in the 2015 session, need to stop letting a handful of holdouts dictate Missouri’s ability to fight drug abuse.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 21

Timing of campaign checks trips up Missouri GOP:

When it comes to denying that ill-timed campaign checks influence public policy, Missouri Republicans are having a hard time keeping their stories straight.

Last weekend, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported on such a check.

Story Continues →