JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KDKZ-TV) A budget proposal to fund two additional investigators for a statewide prescription drug monitoring program is in limbo as some Missouri state senators still oppose the effort to respond to an increase in drug overdose deaths in the state.
Missouri remains the only state in the nation without a program that allows doctors or pharmacists to track a patient’s prescription history, despite being among the 20 worst states for drug overdose deaths.
A program created last year by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens allows the state to track physicians’ and pharmacists’ prescription habits, but critics say it doesn’t give doctors the tools need to prevent over-prescribing drugs.
Last week, the Missouri Senate declined to approve funds to add two investigators to the program because senators weren’t comfortable with the way it operates.
House members already chose to keep the money in the budget when they approved it last month and the issue will now go to a conference committee.
Overdose deaths in Missouri increased by more than 30 percent between 2015 and 2016, and the state’s rate of overdose deaths is the 18th worst in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.