Zorn bill aimed at stopping prescription drug abuse

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LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday introduced legislation to help prevent prescription drug abuse by requiring more reporting of controlled substances to the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS).

“Communities throughout Michigan have been impacted by increased prescription drug and opioid addiction, and Monroe County is one of the state’s hardest hit for drug overdoses,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This legislation is the result of working with the Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition and Medical Workgroup to end the cycle of addiction and save lives.”

MAPS is the prescription monitoring program for the state of Michigan. Prescription monitoring programs are used to monitor prescription drug use and over prescription at the prescriber, pharmacy and patient levels by collecting Schedule 2-5 controlled substances prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies and practitioners.

Collection of this prescription information allows physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, podiatrists and veterinarians to pull reports on a patient’s Schedules 2-5 controlled substance prescription history. This enables the practitioner to determine if patients are receiving controlled substances from other providers and to assist in the prevention of prescription drug abuse.

Senate Bill 828 would remove the MAPS reporting exemptions for controlled substance samples, methadone treatment centers and buprenorphine prescribers.

“MAPS should be an effective tool for monitoring access to controlled substances, so that we can stop the practice of patients going to several doctors to get multiple prescriptions,” Zorn said. “Eliminating reporting exemptions in MAPS is about combating drug abuse by increasing access to critical information about who is getting these controlled substances and how often they are getting them.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee for consideration.