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LARA Proposes Categorizing Gabapentin as a Controlled Substance, Improving Opioid Training

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280

April 16, 2018 – The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is continuing its effort to combat the opioid epidemic by proposing the categorization of the drug Gabapentin as a schedule V controlled substance and improving training standards for prescribers and dispensers of opioids and controlled substances.

Gabapentin – or Neurontin – is a medication commonly used to treat nerve pain and seizures. However, the drug can have potentially harmful effects when combined with other opioids. Michigan joins a growing number of states by proposing the scheduling of Gabapentin as a controlled substance.

“This is an effort to get ahead of the opioid epidemic by combating emerging trends before they become fully developed challenges,” said LARA Director Shelly Edgerton.

Additionally, the proposed rule changes will require an individual seeking a controlled substance license to complete a training in opioids and controlled substances awareness that addresses: integration of treatments, alternative pain management treatments, counseling patients on the effects and risks associated with using controlled substances, stigma of addiction, proper disposal requirements for prescriptions, utilizing the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) and state and federal controlled substance dispensing laws.

The Michigan Board of Pharmacy approved the rule changes during its April 11, 2018 meeting. The proposed rules will now go through the rule making process before they are administered.

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