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Health & Science

Missouri to consider 2 bills to combat opioid epidemic

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Legislature is considering a pair of bill proposals to curb the availability of prescription opioids statewide.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Republican Rep. Becky Ruth has sponsored a House bill that would allow patients to fill out a form indicating they don't want opioid treatment from their health care provider. The form would be added to the patient's medical records.

Medical groups fear the bill's language is too vague to protect physicians.

Republican Sen. David Sater has sponsored a Senate bill to restrict first-time prescriptions for synthetic opioids to no more than a seven-day supply. The bill wouldn't limit prescription length for cancer patients or those receiving hospice or chronic pain palliative care.

Missouri is the only state nationwide without a prescription drug-monitoring database that allows doctors or pharmacists to track a patient's prescription history.

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com