State lawmakers will soon discuss proposed solutions to Michigan’s opioid drug epidemic.
State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker’s bills would crack down on doctors or clinics that prescribe narcotics without a legitimate medical purpose, and pharmacies that dispense them.
“Opioid related overdoses are skyrocketing nationwide, and unfortunately, Michigan’s overdose death rate is one of the highest in the nation,” said Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) in a written statement.
Schuitmaker’s bill would require doctors to use the Michigan Automated Prescription System and require that they check the system before prescribing medications to new patients.
Amanda Lick is with the Michigan Pharmacist Association. She says tracking opioid prescriptions is important.
“This policy is being created because we have an epidemic…related to opioid addiction and unintentional poisoning from opioids across the state,” says Lick.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, from 1999 to 2014, opioid deaths in Michigan rose from 62 to 568.