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Rep. Vaupel supports opioid overdose protection bills

Bipartisan bill package unanimously approved by state House
State Rep. Hank Vaupel, chair of the House Health Policy Committee, voted in support of a bill package to help reduce instances of opioid overdose and increase early education about the detrimental effects of the drugs.
The bill package combats the state’s growing opioid abuse and addiction epidemic by enhancing education for the state’s young people, with bills requiring the Michigan Department of Education to develop a program of instruction based on recommendations from the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission that is grade and age appropriate.
Further, the package allows pharmacists to utilize their training and experience to refuse to dispense an opioid prescription they believe was written without medical purpose. This particular bill would provide legal immunity to pharmacists who refuse such prescriptions.
The plan also requires medical providers to review the risks associated with opioids to both a minor and their parent or guardian when prescribing a controlled substance. Additionally, the provider must obtain a signed consent form from the minor’s guardian before writing the prescription.
“The people of Michigan need to be better informed about the life-threatening ramifications of addiction,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville.
In 2014, 568 people in Michigan died related to opioid overdose, a 911 percent increase since 1999, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“I’m proud to support this commitment to keeping people safe, not only throughout Livingston County, but throughout the entire state of Michigan,” Vaupel said.
The package of bills now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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