Missouri lawmakers debate proper response to opiate deaths

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri lawmakers are considering several measures to combat what they call a heroin epidemic.

The House voted 154-2 Thursday to allow pharmacists to sell naloxone, which temporarily counteracts the effects of opiates and is used to treat overdoses. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder has proposed creating a database to monitor prescriptions in order to flag potential drug abuse. Missouri is the only state without such a program.

Her bill has passed two committees and was put on this week’s debate calendar. But debate was delayed after some Republicans called it an invasion of privacy.

Majority Leader Rep. Mike Cierpiot said Republicans are working to smooth over differences off the House floor. He expects to eventually bring the bill up for debate.

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