Legislation recently approved by the Michigan Senate aims to combat Michigan’s growing opioid epidemic by reducing fraudulent prescriptions and abuse.
House Bill 4217 requires physicians to send all prescriptions through a secure computer system, ensuring only the doctor can issue the prescription.
In addition to eliminating fraud, the system would detect the inappropriate prescribing of opioids along with other medical errors, would reduce the number of prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting, and would reduce doctor shopping. Doctor shopping is the practice of obtaining narcotic prescriptions from multiple doctors.
“While we’ve been distracted by a public health crisis for months, the unfortunate reality is that the opioid crisis has continued to take the lives of loved ones across Michigan,” state Rep. Joe Bellino (R- Monroe and Wayne counties), who introduced the bill, said. “We must hold doctors and bad actors accountable. Many opioid abusers use forged prescriptions, which can and should be prevented.”
The bill now moves to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature.
Bellino is a former addict and has sponsored other opioid-reform policies. He supports requiring doctors to consult the Michigan Automated Prescription System to verify a patient has not shown any signs of being an abuser before prescribing opioids.