Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ed Emery: Prescription drug bill is unreasonable search and seizure

(From Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar)

A few weeks ago the Senate passed a version of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), Senate Bill 74 and sent it to the House of Representatives. That bill appears to have been deliberately sidetracked while the House version, House Bill 90 - in my opinion a more invasive and unconstitutional version - was perfected by the Senate last Thursday and is currently in conference to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions. I have opposed and voted against both bills but favor the Senate version because it is far less susceptible to abuse or unlawful access.

House Bill 90 and 68 (a single bill with two numbers) creates an unconstitutional database that by the collection of personal data, violates the fundamental right of Missourians to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures as stated in Article I, Section 15 of the Missouri Constitution. I believe it also violates the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that the citizens of this state shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures. In order for the state to search any place or seize any person or thing, there must be probable cause for the issuance of a warrant. This bill, however, allows the seizing of personal information of every citizen who has been dispensed certain prescribed controlled substances without any probable cause or the issuance of a warrant.

The citizens of this state have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their prescription records and the PDMP is, in essence, a form of surveillance that violates this expectation of privacy. The state should not collect this private information without any basis that a crime has been committed. It flies in the face of the fundamental precepts of state and federal constitutional protections. These precepts are designed to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures where there is no probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.

Additionally, available data confirms that state PDMPs do not effectively reduce the number of opioid overdose fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the number of state PDMPs increased from 16 to 49 between 2000 and 2015, prescription drug-related deaths during that same period grew from 7,885 to 29,728. Further, Missouri is the only state without PDMP, which, if such programs were successful, would suggest that Missouri would have the highest number of drug deaths per capita. However, Missouri actually ranks 22nd, meaning that 21 states with PDMPs have higher rates of prescription drug deaths than Missouri with none. Clearly, there is no favorable correlation to support implementing a PDMP in Missouri. One possible reason for the growing numbers of prescription drug-related deaths in states with a PDMP may be the predictable shift from opioids to the least-cost alternative, heroin, which is even more deadly.

Finally, it has been consistently reported that a reasonable estimate of the doctor-shopping portion of opioid abuse is roughly three percent. If Missouri demands full PDMP participation by doctors (100 percent), the maximum impact possible would be 3 percent, which cannot justify the overreach of government and the invasion of privacy created by House Bills 90 and 68. States that do not mandate doctor participation, are seeing far less than full participation which means those states may be impacting less than one percent of the doctor-shopping problem.

In summary, the proposed legislation creating the PDMP is an unconstitutional and unreasonable search and seizure of our personal prescription records and the establishment of PDMPs in other states has not stemmed the tide of opioid abuse sufficient to justify the search and seizure of our prescription records. Shouldn’t we be asking the question – what justifies this clear growth of the power and reach of government? Each of us can hold to our own opinion, but we cannot have our own version of the facts.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Ed Emery should be robbed at gunpoint by an addict seeking narcotics. Maybe he should send a loved one to work at a hospital or pharmacy and worry each day they will come home alive. Maybe Ed Emery should understand what the bill does in relation to people filling multiple scripts at different locations. Ed Emery- I wonder how much money you take from Pharmaceutical companies ....

Anonymous said...

He's an idiot

Anonymous said...

How on earth do people get multiple scripts for for narcotics?? I've had to beg for a refill when absolutely needed for pain after extensive surgery...and then had to produce my second grade report card to get the script filled.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Just another piece of liberty to trash in favor of security. What the hell has happened to privacy in matters of health?

Anonymous said...

Actually Ed Emory is absolutely correct using facts and logic to make his point that Missouri doesn't need any more drug laws or interference between doctors and patients.

But then again, liberals like Turner hate self-responsibility and limited government (for others) up to the point when the authorities get onto Turner and then run him off.