A bill to create a database for monitoring prescriptions faltered again in Missouri, as the state’s legislative session ended without the measure coming to a vote, the Wall Street Journal reports. That leaves Missouri as the only remaining state without such a database, which experts say would help track and prevent the over-prescribing of controlled substances such as opioids. The databases allow doctors and pharmacies to check a person’s prescription history before writing or filling a new one.
States bordering Missouri had urged it to pass the legislation. They said some of their residents wishing to abuse opioids were traveling to Missouri to seek prescriptions, knowing doctors there can’t check their history. Proponents of the bill in Missouri’s House and Senate were unable to overcome divisions over how comprehensive the database should be. Some legislators wanted the database to track prescriptions for all controlled substances, while some wanted to limit the database to prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepines, said Holly Rehder, a Republican in the House who led the push for the legislation. Shatterproof, a national nonprofit group that advocates for policies to fight addiction, called Missouri’s lack of action “shameful.”