LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday concurred with House amendments on a pair of bills that seek to prevent prescription drug diversion and reduce overdoses in the state of Michigan.
“Though many tragedies have happened in recent years, these bills are a culmination of hard work from every end of the spectrum to help put an end to this crisis,” said state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “My colleagues and I have heard from parents of victims, individuals who have suffered from addiction, medical specialists, law enforcement and many others. This has been an amazing collaborative effort.”
Schuitmaker, who sponsored both bills and has remained at the forefront of the legislative effort against opioid abuse, says illegal diversion is the root cause of the epidemic that is currently sweeping the nation.
Senate Bills 166 and 167 would require all prescribers who prescribe Schedule 2 through Schedule 5 controlled substances to review a Michigan Automated Prescription System, or MAPS report prior to issuing a prescription for a controlled substance.
The report lists which substances a patient has received and who has prescribed them. A MAPS report could indicate to the physician or health care provider that abuse or doctor shopping may be occurring.
“This would put an end to pill mills and other illegal operations by creating a paper trail for every Schedule 2 through Schedule 5 controlled substance,” Schuitmaker said. “A quick, three-second search gives health care professionals a complete outline of a patient’s prescription history; allowing them to see if something doesn’t look right.”
Michigan currently has a system that tracks prescriptions, but Schuitmaker says many physicians don’t use it properly, or even at all.
“The bills would ensure all prescribers use the system and thoroughly examine a patient’s medical need for such medications,” Schuitmaker said. “The bills also include guidelines for punishing those who fail to do their due diligence.”
SBs 166 and 167 now advance to the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder for final consideration.