Greitens Signs Executive Order to Help Stop Overdoses

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- According to the Centers to Disease Control, 237 people died in Missouri after overdosing on natural and semi-synthetic opioids in 2015.

Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order on Monday to help stop that.

The order directs the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to work on creating a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, according to a news release.

This lets the state to keep watch on prescribers and dispensers.

"We need to be honest and clear about the scale of what we are up against: Opioids are a modern plague," Greitens said in the release. "Like the plague, opioids kill the young, the old, the healthy, the sick, the virtuous and the sinful. There's not a corner of our state that hasn't been visited by this curse. There is no single program, or law, or executive order that can fix this crisis. This program is a step-and it's a big step. Throughout this week, we will outline the other steps we will take to address the opioid crisis. The only thing we won't do is wait. We won’t wait for this problem to get worse. That's not an option.”

The program will  "utilize de-identified data from private sector partners to specifically target "pill mills" that pump out prescription drugs at dangerous and unlawful levels."

Read the full executive order below: 

 

 

“I’m glad to see Missouri is launching its statewide prescription drug monitoring program,” Richard Baum, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement. “In the context of both the ongoing opioid epidemic and the health of Missourians, it’s vital to have safeguards in place to make sure that doctors aren’t overprescribing opioids that can be misused and patients aren’t doctor-shopping for multiple prescriptions that could be misused or diverted.”

The DHSS will also be able to better inform healthcare providers, patients and their families about how to manage pain to decrease opioid prescriptions.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill sent out a news release shortly after Greitens', calling for more action.

“While I certainly welcome the Governor’s attention to this crisis, I have serious questions about how meaningful this action will be if doctors writing prescriptions-and pharmacists filling those prescriptions-don’t have access to this database," McCaskill said. "The welcome mat is still out for drug dealers to shop for prescriptions in our state. The real solution here is for our elected officials in Jefferson City to get off the sidelines, and pass a robust statewide program into law that gives law enforcement, pharmacies, and doctors the tools they need.”

According to McCaskill's release, Missouri is the only state in the country without a statewide monitoring program.

Here is the week's schedule:


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