Jefferson Co. Council Votes Down 2 Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Bills

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – The Jefferson County Council on Monday night took up two proposals that would have established a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), and both failed.

“It’s time that we got off our butts, and that we stood up, and got this thing done. That’s all I got to say.”

Despite that impassioned plea by Councilman Jim Kasten, the council voted down one bill that would have had Jefferson County join the database being established by St. Louis County 4-3, then, in a 6-1 vote, killed a comprehensive opioid fighting bill that also included a PDMP.

Councilman Don Bickowski voted no on both bills, questioning whether Jefferson County can legally collect prescription records under HIPAA.

“There’s nobody …. that has come to us and said that we have clear, legislative, and legal authority to pass anything, based on the questions that I’ve asked,” Bickowski says.

Kasten doesn’t understand why establishing a PDMP isn’t an automatic thing.

“Professionals have told us they need this,” he says. “That this is something that they need to help move this county forward in this battle with drug addiction.”

Missouri is the only state without a statewide PDMP, and Gov. Eric Greitens says the issue is a very important one to him on both a personal level, and for the state.

“I lost a member of my family last year to a heroin addiction,” he says. “This is an issue that is tearing apart thousand of families across the state of Missouri.”

Greitens says his proposed budget includes millions of additional dollars to address the opioid crisis, and he’s also consulting with sheriffs, police chiefs and the state’s department of health.

The prescription drug database did passed the Senate, after longtime opponent Sen Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph stepped aside. It’s now tied up in the state House.

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