WIUM Tristates Public Radio

prescription drugs

The Prescription Drug Mystery

Feb 13, 2019

Recently I learned that I could get a necessary prescription medication cheaper if I didn't use my insurance.  I was happy – no more yearly forms to fill out, appeals to make, alternative drugs to try.  And then it dawned on me – I still had to pay my premium, but the insurance company didn't have to pay for my medication. Here is how it works for me. If I get my prescription through my coverage at OptumRx, my cost is $50 per month, and that includes  a detailed and lengthy approval process required by a nameless corporate entity who doesn't know me and whose concern is company profit. If I don't use the coverage, and purchase my prescription at a local pharmacy with an on-line discount coupon, my cost is $35 per month, no approval needed except by my trusted nurse practitioner Brenda Powell Allen.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson thinks the state is “long overdue” for a statewide prescription-monitoring database for doctors.

Parson, a Republican, said Wednesday he hopes state legislators will pass a bill legalizing such a program next year. Missouri remains the only state without such a database, which proponents say helps cut down on opioids being sold on the street.

Parson made his remarks during a St. Louis stop on a weeklong statewide tour focusing on health issues. He met with state health officials and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson to discuss Missourians’ addiction to opioids. The drugs in 2017 killed 760 people in the St. Louis region alone, and 951 in the entire state. One in every 65 deaths in Missouri that year was due to an opioid overdose, according to the the state’s health department.