Prescription Drugs | St. Louis Public Radio

Prescription Drugs

Brent Nagel

David Sheff is a journalist and New York Times best-selling author. 

In 2008, he wrote a memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction, about how his family dealt with his son‘s methamphetamine addiction.

In a new book, Sheff argues that addicts suffer from an illness and are not simply victims of their own bad choices.  “We must acknowledge addiction is an illness…and not just bad behavior…because we punish bad behavior…we treat illness,” Sheff writes.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

Two bills that would create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri received a hearing Thursday before a State Senate committee.

One of the bills, though, is structured in a way that’s designed to block the proposal from ever becoming reality.  Physician and State Senator Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) is an outspoken critic of prescription drug monitoring.  He says it would violate citizens’ privacy rights.

“But I have agreed to carry (Senate Bill 146), given that it goes to a vote of the people, and that nothing will be construed to require a pharmacist or prescriber to obtain information about a patient from the database,” Schaaf told the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Health.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

The nation’s drug czar was in Fenton Wednesday highlighting the fact that Missouri does not have a prescription drug monitoring program.

It’s the only state in the US without a tracking system or that hasn’t passed legislation to create one.

National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske says it’s a good way to identify patients who are "doctor shopping."

Flickr

The Drug Enforcement Administration's recent effort to collect unused prescription drugs has netted nearly 47,000 pounds in part of the Midwest.

The DEA's St. Louis office said Friday that the six states covered by the office saw 46,686 pounds of medication collected on April 28, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Nationwide, more than a half-million pounds of unwanted or expired medications were turned in for disposal.

The St. Louis DEA says it collected:

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

St. Louis to demolish plywood shacks near Mississippi River

Demolition will begin Friday at a row of plywood shacks near the Mississippi River in St. Louis where 10 homeless people have been evacuated. 

It is the first of three riverfront encampments the city ordered shut down. St. Louis Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff has said that he hopes to have all three encampments cleared out by May 18 after reports of violent crime and rat infestation.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4:26 p.m. to correct name of Jennifer Mallon's association. It is the National Community Pharmacists Association, not the National Association of Community Pharmacies.

Federal regulators have approved the $29.1 billion merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco.

Pills prescription drugs pharmaceuticals
ep_jhu | Flickr

Last year's fight between Walgreens and Express Scripts over prescription drug prices overshadowed the much bigger issue of whether health reforms have eased drug costs for many seniors, as well as whether state lawmakers should set up a health insurance exchange.

The agreement between the St. Louis County Family Court and the Justice Department, almost a year and a half in the making, is aimed at correcting violations in young people's due process and harsher treatment directed at black children.
Bloomsberries | Flickr

A doctor from rural central Missouri faces four federal felonies for allegedly selling drugs, including narcotics and anti-depressants.

(via Flickr/ellie)

Residents in St. Charles County will soon need a prescription to purchase cold and allergy pills containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in methamphetamine. 

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits management companies could become one in the first six months of next year.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

About 20 percent of seniors and people with disabilities will lose prescription drug coverage because of cuts in the Illinois state budget.

State officials are sending letters to 43,000 participants saying they won't qualify for "Illinois Cares Rx" as of Sept. 1. Those who are still enrolled will pay more out of pocket for their prescriptions.

A processing floor at Express Scripts in north St. Louis County.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The nation's largest drugstore chain is locked in a contract fight with one of the St. Louis area's  largest employers.

Walgreen Co. revealed during an earnings call today that it's planning to end its $5.3-billion-per-year relationship with Express Scripts Inc. on Jan. 1, saying it cannot reach a deal on the fees the pharmacy benefits manager pays to fill the prescriptions of Walgreen's customers.

The Wentzville Police Department says a program started last month to collect unused prescription medication has so far been a success.

The program helps keep medications from contaminating the water supply and to keep them away from children and others who might abuse them.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Often programs called "important" and "a blessing" by lawmakers on both sides of the isle aren't in much danger of elimination, but this time might be different.

207,000 low-income seniors and disabled people in Missouri participate in the Missouri Rx prescription drug assistance program. Well, at least until it expires in August 2011.

Unless the Missouri General Assembly reauthorizes it.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 25, 2008 - As the “The Dark Knight”  broke box office records, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, is in the spotlight. We are once again reminded of the circumstances of his untimely death.

Pages