Missouri opioid drug tracking bill faces challenges

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Legislation to make Missouri the final state to adopt a statewide monitoring program for prescription opioids continues to face challenges.

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder said several amendments proposed by her colleagues on Wednesday would have killed her bill’s chances of passing.

One failed amendment would have required the program to track medical marijuana as well.

House members ultimately defeated every proposed amendment and voted 110-43 to give the bill initial approval. But if it passes the House it will still need to go to the Senate, where a similar proposal failed to pass out of committee Wednesday.

The goal of prescription tracking programs is to help physicians and pharmacists identify potential opioid misuse.

Critics cite privacy concerns about a government-run database and question their effectiveness in combatting the opioid crisis.

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