Thursday, July 31, 2014

PDMPs: At Least Someone in Missouri is Paying Attention

Missouri is the last state in the union without an approved Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.  While that's inexcusable and embarrassing, it also has real consequences for the state.  Past legislative attempts to create a database have met with resistance from Dr. Robert Schaaf, a family practice physician and Missouri state senator.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch published an op-ed on the topic yesterday, which reads, in part:
"Sen. Schaaf, a family practice physician, said his opposition to the database is about freedom. The drug database would infringe on patients’ personal liberty, he says.
Of course, his opposition makes life easier for greedy doctors and unscrupulous pill-pushers, and more dangerous for drug addicts.
Dr. Schaaf is not opposed to all databases or impinging on the freedom of poor people. He voted in favor of legislation in 2011 that required the state Department of Social Services to set up a database to screen some welfare recipients for drug use.He also voted last session for a bill that would have required the state Division of Workers’ Compensation to develop and maintain a database allowing employers access to workers’ compensation records. 
So much for freedom, eh, Dr. Schaaf?"
I've spoken to Senator Schaff directly on this topic and asked him to explain the inconsistency of his positions.  I'm not sure he understands the importance of the issue at hand.  
You can find a front page article from the NY Times on this here.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch op ed is here
My past critique of Sen. Schaaf is here and here
Hopefully this national media attention will get things moving in Missouri... and convince Sen. Schaaf to change his position.  
On Twitter @PRIUM1

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