Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signs legislation to combat opioid epidemic, prevent addiction in Michigan

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017

LANSING, Mich. – Lt. Gov. Brian Calley today signed legislation that will help combat the opioid epidemic, which is impacting every community across our state and has become a national emergency. 

“The addiction epidemic is now claiming more lives than car accidents and we are taking an all-hands-on deck approach in Michigan to combat it and prevent future addiction,” Calley said. “This legislation will help provide better education on the dangers of addiction before pills are ever dispensed and ensures that a patient’s drug history is known before these highly addictive medications are prescribed. Prevention and earlier detection of addiction will save lives.” 

The legislative package was unveiled in March by Calley, Gov. Snyder and a group of bipartisan legislators as implementation of recommendations of the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force which Calley chaired. 

Senate Bills 166 and 167, sponsored by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, require prescribers to check a patient’s prescription history in the Michigan Automated Prescription System prior to providing controlled substances to patients. The bills also create disciplinary action for prescribers who fail to use MAPS. The bills are now Public Acts 248 and 249 of 2017.

Other reforms in the package include:

  • House Bill 4408, sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Bellino, requires prescribers to provide information about the dangers of opioids and obtain acknowledgement of that information prior to prescribing. It is now PA 246.
  • SB 270, sponsored by state Sen. Steve Bieda, requires prescribers to have a bona-fide physician-patient relationship before prescribing controlled substances and specifies penalties for not meeting these requirements. It is now PA 247.
  • SB 273, sponsored by state Sen. Rick Jones, requires health professionals to provide information on substance use treatment services to patients who have experienced an overdose. It is now PA 250.
  • SB 274, sponsored by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, limits the supply of an opioid that could be prescribed for acute pain.  Beginning July 1, 2018, a prescriber could not prescribe more than a 7-day supply of an opioid for acute pain within a 7-day period. The bill also allows pharmacists to partially fill prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs.  It is now PA 251.
  • SB 47, sponsored by state Sen. Dale Zorn, clarifies requirements for when MAPS must be consulted prior to prescribing an opioid. It is now PA 252.
  • HB 4403, sponsored by state Rep. Andy Schor, codifies treatment options for Medicaid beneficiaries suffering from opioid addiction including medically necessary treatment services, inpatient care and clinical stabilization services. It is now PA 253.
  • HB 4406, sponsored by state Rep. Beth Griffin, requires the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission to develop recommendations for the Michigan Department of Education on how to instruct students on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and addiction. It is now PA 254.
  • HB 4407, sponsored by state Rep. Beth Griffin, requires schools to include education on opioids and the potential for addiction in health education curriculum. It is now PA 255.

Progress to date includes launching Michigan’s new prescription monitoring program, expanding Michigan’s Good Samaritan law to encourage people to report overdoses without fear of being arrested, increasing the number of prescription drug drop off bins, expanding the availability of Medication Assisted Treatment and implementing innovative recovery programs.

Michigan has also issued a standing order for naloxone to pharmacies, making the overdose antidote more readily available. Nearly 1,300 orders were dispensed in the first three months.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.

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