Posted: 5/22/2021 10:41:01 AM EDT
From Mike Moon,
In the last report, I mentioned my plan to cover some of the bills considered by the General Assembly. The first bill I’ll cover is Senate Bill (SB 63). SB 63, (a.k.a. PDMP) is a disaster in the making (my opinion).
The PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) is purported to curb drug abuse (specifically prescription drug abuse). “Doctor Shopping” (patients desiring more prescription drugs than authorized by a single physician find additional doctors to prescribe even more medicine) is in the “cross hairs.” Proponents of the PDMP cite “doctor shopping” as a key focus for the need to implement the program.
Yet, as noted by researchers, “doctor shopping” accounts for less than three percent (3%) of the opioid abuse problem.
When I joined the legislature, I first learned of the push for a statewide PDMP when, then Representative, Holly Rehder (pronounced – Ray-durr), sponsored the bill. Each and every year, while in the House, the bill failed.
Representative, now Senator, Rehder explained the reason for her sponsoring the bill was related to her daughter’s experience: following a severe finger cut while working in a kitchen, her daughter was treated with some potent pain relievers. When the prescription ran out, her daughter sought more drugs from a friend (not a physician).
Now, think about that for a moment…. How would a program designed to reduce the abuse of prescription drugs affectively stop persons from obtaining prescribed drugs from friends (or by theft or other means)? These drugs, obtained from friends or others, cannot be linked to “doctor shopping.” Nor will a PDMP stop these types of abuses.
In addition, in about 2014, illegal fentanyl (an extremely potent opioid) began entering the country. This illegal (or illicit) version of fentanyl, manufactured in China and Mexico – in makeshift laboratories – is not produced in controlled environments. Virtually no care is taken to control potency.
Fentanyl is so powerful that a dosage equivalent to two grains of table salt is enough to kill an adult human. With no potency controls in place, illicit fentanyl is a recipe for disaster.
In 2014, CDC reports indicate that deaths related to opioid abuse spiked. John Lilly, D.O., Springfield, MO, noted something peculiar about the CDC’s findings. Dr. Lilly questioned whether or not the reported deaths distinguished between drugs prescribed by doctors and those obtained illegally.
When asked, the CDC reported: There was no such distinction.
So, what does this mean?
The sharp rise in opioid deaths were real. However, the huge increase in the number of deaths were NOT related to prescription drugs. More importantly, since these drugs were not obtained by legal means (i.e., by a doctor’s prescription), a PDMP would not have prevented these deaths.
Keep in mind, one of the main reasons for implementing a PDMP is to stop “doctor shopping.” And, since “doctor shopping” is credited with a mere 2.7% of the opioid abuse problem, who could logically make an argument that a PDMP is necessary.
PDMPs HISTORY OF FAILURE
Nonetheless, 49 of the several states have implemented PDMPs. New York implemented the first of the nation’s programs in 1918. Of course, other states followed suit.
Former MO State Senator Ed Emery stated a few years ago that in the United States, 49 independent labs have for years conducted PDMP experiments. And, each of the experiments have failed! Since this is the case, why would anyone in their right mind think that Missouri’s experiment would produce different results.
Since I’ve become aware of the PDMP, many emotional, anecdotal stories have been provided to me. When looking at the facts, however, there simply is no proof that PDMPs are successful in keeping opioid abuse in check.
In 2018, Governor Eric Greitens issued Executive Order (EO) 17-18. This EO initiated what would become a county-wide PDMP. This effort affects approximately 87% of Missourians. Since its inception, opioid-related deaths have increased. Most logically thinking persons would conclude that Missouri’s county-wide PDMP was following suit with the other 49 states. Unbelievably, the push for a state wide program continued.
Shortly after EO 17-18 was issued, I learned that approximately 8,000 letters were sent to Missouri physicians. According to doctors I spoke to, these letters were perceived as threatening (sort of big brother-like). For instance, some physicians interpreted the letters to say that the government would be watching their prescribing behavior… and, if they stepped out of line, their ability to practice medicine would be at risk.
So, what would you do if you spent decades training for your profession and suddenly your livelihood and passion were threatened? Many stopped treating patients who regularly needed prescription drugs. For instance, chronic pain patients were turned away – after many years of successful, uninterrupted care, doctors refused to treat them.
Whether intentional or not, the Missouri government orchestrated one of the most inhumane actions in history: threatening physicians with sanctions (and, ultimately the prohibition of practicing medicine) if they continued to treat patients in the manner they deemed best for the patient. Despicable!
The result: pushing chronic pain patients to the brink of suicide; coercing physicians to alter their practices in order to satisfy governmental dictators; and promoting an unproven and unconstitutional program.
Missouri Constitution, Article I, section 15 refers to unreasonable searches and seizures. It states: “… the people shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes, effects, and electronic communications and data, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing, or access electronic data or communication, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized, or the data or communication to be accessed, as nearly as may be; nor without probable cause, supported by written oath or affirmation.”
There you have it! Our God-given right, protected by the Constitution is ripe to be plucked away.
Here’s more: it states in the Federal Register/ Volume 81, No. 3/ Wednesday, January 6, 2016/ Rules and Regulations, p. 382 (under the heading: Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, 45 CFR 164)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Action: The final rule
Summary: The Department of Health and Human Services is issuing this final rule to modify the HIPAA of 1996 Privacy rule to expressly permit certain HIPAA covered entities to disclose to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) the identities of individuals who are subject to a Federal “mental health prohibitor” that disqualifies them from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm.
The NICS is a national system maintained by the FBI to conduct background checks on persons who may be disqualified from receiving firearms.
If, you’re still not convinced that residents of states participating in PDMPs will be subject to scrutiny (and the potential of being unable to “keep and bear arms”) get this – From Missouri’s PDMP bill (SB 63), p. 7, lines 188 – 197:
“No patient dispensation information shall be provided to local state, or federal law enforcement or prosecutorial officials, both in-state and out-of-state, or any regulatory board, professional or otherwise, for any purposes other than those explicitly set forth in HIPAA and regulations promulgated thereunder.”
It certainly appears that PDMP information can (and will) be shared with federal authorities. Given the propensity of the current federal administration’s desire to disarm United States citizens, it is reasonable to believe that prescription data will be used to do that very thing.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Missouri has been the lone holdout state, until now. SB 63 was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed by the Missouri General Assembly. The bill, among others, is scheduled to be signed by Senate President Pro Tem Schatz and House Speaker Vescovo on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Immediately following the signing, the bill(s) will be delivered to the Governor.
It’s not over yet, though. Maybe, just maybe, Governor Parson can be convinced to veto SB 63.
You can help: Write a letter to Governor Parson. Ask him to veto SB 63 on constitutional grounds. Use your own words. Use some information in this report. You can also find credible information at jpands.org/vol24no2/lilly.pdf
If you have even the slightest concern about protecting your liberty – please write and send your letter today.
Address your letter to:
Governor Mike Parson
201 W. Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Time is of the essence! You may e-mail the letter directly to the Governor at:
[email protected] (and, I’ll print the letters and deliver them to Governor Parson)."