Legislator: E-scripts will help prevent abuse, overdose
State Rep. Joe Bellino’s plan to cut down on fraudulent prescriptions and combat Michigan’s growing opioid abuse was approved unanimously by the Michigan Senate.
The legislation calls on doctors to send all prescriptions through a secure computer system, preventing anyone but the doctor from issuing prescriptions.
“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,” said Bellino, an addict in recovery for more than two decades. “We must hold doctors and bad actors accountable. Many opioid abusers use forged prescriptions, which can and should be prevented.”
Bellino said the plan would reduce the number of prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting and detect inappropriate prescribing of opioids and other medical errors. Studies show that e-prescribing also reduces doctor shopping, the practice of getting narcotic prescriptions from multiple doctors.
During the 2017-18 term, Bellino sponsored a number of other opioid-reform policies, including a locking vial to prevent drug abuse and a requirement for doctors to inform parents of minors about the dangers of opioids prior to prescribing. He also supported measures requiring doctors to consult the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) to verify a patient has not shown any signs of being an abuser before prescribing opioids and to require schools to instruct students on the dangers of opioids, as well as several other measures.
“This is an opportunity to reduce the heartbreaking number of overdose deaths that result from fraudulent prescriptions,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “”The lives of our families, friends and neighbors could be on the line if we do nothing to address opioid abuse in Michigan. That’s a price we can’t afford to pay.”
House Bill 4217 now moves to the governor’s desk to be considered for state law.
State Rep. Joe Bellino and a group of House Republican lawmakers this week announced a plan aimed at giving the people of Michigan more certainty and control by allowing for data-driven COVID-19 responses that reflect conditions in local communities.
Since Michigan students were sent home at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the question arose: What would fall look like for our schools? What would students and teachers face in a new academic year? It was a question in Michigan and all across the country.
“This was a major step in the right direction for Michiganders throughout the state,” Bellino said. “My colleagues and I stand ready to work with the governor in the best interests of our families, from Wayne and Monroe counties all the way to the Upper Peninsula. We are strong here in Michigan, and we will get through the rest of this pandemic together.”
State Rep. Joe Bellino, of Monroe, today joined his colleagues in approving a bipartisan plan for the state’s Fiscal Year 2021 K-12 budget – one that won’t raise taxes or grow state government.