LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder and state lawmakers are looking to combat Michigan’s growing opioid epidemic by educating people on the dangers of abuse and find ways to track prescription drugs more easily.
Bipartisan legislators, along with the governor and lieutenant governor, announced Thursday new legislation that will focus on limiting prescription of opioids, education about abuse and require consent from parents before a minor receives a prescription. Additionally, a bill would require updates to an electronic database system that tracks a patient’s drug history.
During the conference, Snyder said in 2015, almost 2,000 people died from overdoses in the state. He added that Michigan also has a huge problem with prescribing opioids. He said the number of prescriptions prescribed in 2007 was 180 million but it has jumped up significantly since then.
“In 2016 the number was 690 million, folks in nine years things shouldn’t have changed to that level,” Snyder said. “I can’t tell you today we’re winning.”
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley announced that the new Michigan Automated Prescription System will launch in early April and it will provide prescribers with a user-friendly way to easily obtain information of controlled substances and Schedule 2-5 drugs that have been previously dispensed to a patient.
“It will give doctors real time information about the prescription history of the person they are dealing with,” Calley said. “You would think in this day and age that a doctor would have that … but today that doesn’t exist.”
Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, a Republican from Lawton, introduced legislation that would require disciplinary action if a prescriber is not getting reports about a patient from the database. Democratic state Rep. Andy Schor, from Lansing, introduced legislation that provides treatment options for Medicaid beneficiaries who are suffering from opioid addiction.
“We all know that prescription drug and opioid abuse is not a partisan issue, it’s not a Democrat or Republican issue, it’s happening in cities, it’s happening in townships, it’s happening in urban and rural areas,” Schor said.
Also Snyder said that much is still needed to be done and legislation alone won’t help.
“Many good things are going on, but to be blunt, it’s not enough,” Snyder said. “We need to improve our culture, we need to support one another and deal with how do we prevent this problem from beginning to begin with.”
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On – 24 Mar, 2017 By