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April 2017

Improved Michigan Automated Prescription System Now Operational

In what has been identified as a new tool in the fight against opioid abuse and controlled substance diversion, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced Tuesday, April 11, 2017, that improvements to the Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS), Michigan’s electronic monitoring system that tracks Schedule 2-5 controlled substances dispensing, were completed with its new functionality operational. As such, pharmacies and practitioners are now able to quickly (hopefully) review and assess a patient’s prescription history before writing or dispensing a controlled substance prescription. According to LARA, a pharmacist or prescriber can now electronically search for a patient’s controlled substance history in just a few seconds, with real-time data; under the former system it took several minutes to run a report and was based on data uploaded, at best, once every 24 hours.

The new MAPS is designed to help physicians better determine whether a patient is “doctor or pharmacy shopping” for controlled substances, and will aid pharmacists in identifying “red flags” when filling a controlled substance prescription. “Replacing the outdated MAPS [was] central in our fight against the opioid epidemic that has been so tragic for Michigan families. The modern system gives prescribers and dispensers state-of-the-art tools to make more informed decisions, intervene earlier, and spend additional time with patients and customers,” stated Michigan’s Lt. Governor. Brian Calley.

In addition to faster, real-time access to a patient’s controlled substance history, providers can view alerts on patients, according to Kim Gaedeke, Director of LARA’s Bureau of Professional Licensing. She explained that these alerts could tell a provider if a patient has a substance abuse problem, whether a treatment was not therapeutic for a patient, or if a particular patient had seen more than six doctors in a 60-day period. While not necessarily indicative of abuse, this information will be invaluable to both pharmacists and prescribers in fighting opioid abuse and controlled substance diversion.

The new MAPS system allows for data sharing between states, which could also aid in preventing opioid abuse and diversion. Details as to how this will occur are sketchy at the present time, but officials are optimistic because the software vendor responsible for the new MAPS system also provides similar software and support for 43 other states.

Please contact Kim J. Sveska or Nicholas Nahorski of Foley, Baron, Metzger & Juip, PLLC at 734-742-1800 for additional information on the new MAPS system, or for assistance with other pharmacy matters.