Next steps unveiled to address opioid epidemic, help prevent addiction from occurring

Bipartisan, bicameral legislative package part of strategy to address growing epidemic 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – To combat the opioid epidemic and save lives, Michigan needs to address prescription drug abuse more forcefully, Gov. Rick Snyder said today as next steps in the state’s efforts were unveiled.

"Michigan has taken an active role to help save lives and provide second chances to Michiganders by working to prevent overdose deaths,” Snyder said. “While we’ve made some progress, people are still becoming addicted and tragically dying from overdoses so our work is far from over. This new strategy focuses on primary prevention in hopes that we can reduce opioid misuse and prevent addiction from occurring in the first place.”

Gov. Snyder joined with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and a group of bipartisan legislators to unveil a comprehensive legislative strategy focused on building on the state’s current efforts to tackle the opioid and heroin crisis that continues to plague our communities.

Lt. Gov. Calley announced that the new Michigan Automated Prescription System will launch in early April, providing prescribers with a user-friendly portal to easily obtain information of controlled substances and Schedule 2-5 drugs that have previously been dispensed to a patient.

"MAPS is essential in accurately tracking prescribed controlled substances," Calley said. "This modern system gives prescribers and dispensers state-of-the-art tools to make better informed decisions, intervene earlier and spend additional time with patients and clients."

The legislation announced today will:

  • Require prescribers to obtain reports from MAPS before prescribing or dispensing Schedule 2 through 5 controlled substances to a patient (sponsored by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker).
  • Require disciplinary action if a prescriber is not obtaining reports from MAPS (sponsored by Sen. Schuitmaker).
  • Increase penalties for physicians and pharmacists who wrongfully prescribe, dispense, manufacture or distribute controlled substances (sponsored by Sens. Jim Ananich and Margaret O’Brien).
  • Require prescribers to have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship with a patient before prescribing a Schedule 2 through 5 controlled substance (sponsored by Sen. Steve Bieda).
  • Require the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to adopt recommendations for the instruction of students on prescription drug abuse and the potential of addiction (sponsored by Sen. Schuitmaker and Rep. Beth Griffin).
  • Require schools to include education on opioids and the potential for addiction in health education curriculum (sponsored by Sen. Schuitmaker and Rep. Griffin).
  • Require prescribers to provide information to patients on dangers, proper disposal and penalties for dispensing prior to prescribing a controlled substance (sponsored by Sen. Mike Shirkey).
  • Require physicians to provide patients being treated for an opioid overdose with information on substance use disorder services (sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones).
  • Create prescribing limits for opioids. Prescribers would be limited to prescribing chronic pain sufferers a 30-day supply of opioids and acute pain suffers a 7-day supply of opioids (sponsored by Sen. Marty Knollenberg).
  • Require pain management facilities to be licensed by the state (sponsored by Rep. Sam Singh).
  • Provide treatment options for Medicaid beneficiaries suffering from opioid addiction including medically necessary acute treatment services, inpatient care and clinical stabilization services (sponsored by Rep. Andy Schor).
  • Protect pharmacists from civil liability if the pharmacist refuses to fill a prescription, so long as they are acting in good faith and have reasonable doubt regarding the authenticity of the prescription or believe the prescription is being filled for non-medical purposes (sponsored by Rep. Kathy Crawford).
  • Require parental consent and signature before a minor receives their first prescription of a controlled substance containing an opioid. Prior to receiving consent, the prescriber should discuss with the minor and their parent the potential risk of addiction and overdose (sponsored by Rep. Joseph Bellino).

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