Michigan Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation requiring opioid prescriptions to be transmitted to pharmacies electronically has moved out of the House Ways and Means Committee and onto the House floor.
Zorn’s bill, SB 254, is a compliment to Sen. Ruth Johnson’s (R-Holly) bill, SB 248, which would require electronic prescribing of prescription drugs by Jan. 1, 2021. Doctors who cannot meet the state’s electronic transmission requirement could apply for a waiver from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). SB 254 would apply to opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions.
“The main reason for this reform was to help address the state’s opioid abuse problem by reducing fraudulent availability of these highly addictive drugs,” Zorn (R-Ida) said. “By requiring electronic prescriptions for opioids, we can reduce the illegal supply and virtually eliminate ‘doctor shopping’ — where someone acquires drugs from several different doctors. In addition, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, e-prescriptions could improve patient safety and efficient access to necessary medications.”
Electronic prescribing allows prescribers to write and transmit a patient’s prescription to a participating pharmacy. According to the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency, at least 23 states require e-prescribing with certain exemptions.