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Michigan Prescription Drug & Opioid Abuse Task Force Releases Findings and Recommendations

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According to a new report released this week by a task force that Governor Rick Snyder established, “Schedule II prescriptions have quadrupled in Michigan over the past seven years.” Data compiled by the Trust for America's Health ranked Michigan 18th in the nation for number of deaths due to drug overdose in 2011-2013. These and other alarming statistics have prompted more recent calls for leadership and specific action to address the growing problem of prescription drug and opioid abuse.

Staying true to statements made in his 2015 State of the State address, Governor Snyder formed the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force this past June and charged its members with developing specific recommendations to address the growing problem in Michigan. The task force released its comprehensive report on October 26, which includes more than two dozen recommendations for changes in regulations and practices.

Led by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, the task force was comprised of members with diverse professional backgrounds, including representatives from the Executive Office, the state Legislature, state departments, law enforcement, mental health commissions, insurance companies, and hospitals, as well as physicians, pharmacists, and prosecutors.

The full report outlines the task force's 25 primary recommendations and seven contingent recommendations including, among other things:

  • Updating or replacing the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS)
  • Requiring those who prescribe and dispense prescription drugs to register in and use MAPS
  • Increasing licensing sanctions for healthcare professionals who violate proper prescribing and dispensing practices
  • Requiring additional training for healthcare professionals who prescribe controlled substances
  • Reviewing programs to eliminate doctor and pharmacy shopping
  • Requiring a bona-fide doctor-patient relationship for prescribing controlled substances

You can read the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force's full report of findings and recommendations for actions here.

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