JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Amid a nationwide opioid crisis, Missouri lawmakers advanced proposals Wednesday to make it easier for people to get rid of unused prescriptions.
Both the House and Senate gave initial approval in voice votes to bills that would create a drug take-back program.
Local pharmacies could opt to house disposal boxes for pills and medications, as long as the site was approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Currently, local pharmacies are barred from taking prescriptions they did not dispense.
The Senate bill would also limit some initial opioid prescriptions to no more than seven days, unless the doctor believed a longer prescription was necessary and there was no suitable alternative. Certain patients, such as those receiving cancer treatments, were exempted from the seven-day limit.
U.S. deaths linked to opioids have quadrupled since 2000 to roughly 42,000 in 2016. Almost 1,000 Missourians died in 2016 because of a heroin or opioid overdose, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.