A package of bills that will further the state’s efforts against the growing prescription drug and opioid epidemic advanced from the House Committee on Health Policy and currently awaits a vote on the House floor.
Every community across our state has experienced the devastating effects of prescription drug and opioid abuse. This is not something that we can simply legislate away. It takes diligence and cooperation on every level.
Because of their direct involvement with the process, this legislation focuses on what have come to be known as “doctor shopping” and “pill mills.” As a result, I introduced Senate Bills 166 and 167 to hinder this process and crack down on any collusion between pharmacies and physicians.
Doctors and pharmacies working together to illegally prescribe medications for a quick buck is a recipe for disaster. These so-called medical professionals clearly do not have the patient’s best interest in mind. They are not only violating the law, but the ethics of the oath they took to become a physician as well.
These bills would make sure doctors who prescribe Schedule 2 through Schedule 5 controlled substances consult the Michigan Automated Prescription System, or MAPS, prior to doing so. The bills also outline punishment guidelines for those who fail to do so or are negligent.
MAPS was designed to prevent drug diversion by collecting prescription data and loading it into a database made available to all Michigan prescribers. This allows health care professionals to see a full picture of the controlled substances that a patient has received and from which prescriber. A MAPS report could indicate to the physician or health care provider that abuse or doctor shopping may be occurring.
On October 26, President Trump also took a stand against the opioid crisis by directing the Department of Health and Human Services to declare this a public health emergency. As a nation, we need to ensure opioids stay out of the hands of those who do not truly need them.