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Recent legislation and FY2018 ends in growth

Expansion of Drug Take Back Program Signed into Law (SB 718, SB 826, SB 951)

Three pieces of legislation approved by the General Assembly this year contain a provision meant to help fight the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. The change to state law will expand Missouri’s drug take back program so that Missourians are more easily able to dispose of their unwanted prescription medications.

The provision contained in all three bills, which have been signed into law, will make it easier to discard unfinished prescriptions year-round by dropping them off at authorized sites such as pharmacies. Without the change, Missouri pharmacies would be barred from taking prescriptions they did not dispense.

Specifically, the provision allows unused controlled substances to be accepted from the public through collection receptacles, drug disposal boxes, and other means provided through drug take back programs by a drug enforcement agency authorized collector in accordance with federal regulations, regardless of whether or not the authorized collector originally dispensed the drug.

I am hopeful the bill will help get prescription drugs off the street. The goal is to allow collection in as many places as possible to make it easy for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs. There are pharmacies that would like to set up collection boxes but were prevented by Missouri law from accepting unused medication that was not originally dispensed by them.

Promoting Organ Donation Education (HB 2129)

One piece of legislation recently signed into law by the governor is meant to increase awareness and knowledge of the importance of organ donation. The bill is meant to give young people access to vital information on organ, eye, and tissue donation.

The legislation requires that public schools allow recognized organizations that provide information on donation to make a 30-minute presentation to the governing body of the school. The governing body will then determine whether to present the information to students and parents. The bill does include an exemption for students who have a sincere belief that runs contrary to the information provided. These students would not be required to participate in the organ donation instruction.

I think the bill is necessary to ensure families have the information they need about organ donation. The bill will help ensure more people learn about organ donation. Donation is important because thousands of people die or suffer needlessly each year due to a lack of organ and tissue donors. A single donor can save the lives of up to eight people and enhance the lives of at least 50 others.

Raising Awareness of the Bone Marrow Registry (HB 1953)

The governor recently signed legislation to help raise awareness of the bone marrow registry, and encourage eligible donors to register. The national bone marrow registry plays a vital role in helping patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases to find a bone marrow donor.

The legislation would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to develop information about the bone marrow registry. The information would include the need for bone marrow donations, details about patient populations that would benefit from the donations, and how to join the registry. A primary care provider or urgent care physician would then inquire of any new patient between the age of 18 and 45 whether he or she is registered as a bone marrow donor. If the patient is not registered, the provider or physician would then share the information put together by the department.

The bill will allow doctors an easy means to spread information regarding the bone marrow registry to new patients who are not already registered. The registry helps facilitate thousands of transplants each year. 70 percent of those in need of a transplant do not have a donor in their family and must rely on the registry for a match.

Missouri Ends Fiscal Year 2018 with Strong Revenue Growth

As Fiscal Year 2018 ended at the close of June, the state received good news regarding the healthier-than-expected growth of state revenues. While state budget leaders had predicted growth of 1.9 percent, the state saw the fiscal year end with growth of 5 percent.

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

Representative Rick Francis, 145th District Representative

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