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Overhaul in the works for Michigan’s opioid tracking system

Looking down on a hand holding an open bottle of prescription drugs.
Sharyn Morrow
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Opioid tracking in Michigan is getting an overhaul in the future. A state task force has been working on using millions of dollars to put a dent in Michigan’s opioid drug problem. A big portion of the money and resources will go toward a new opioid tracking system.

Michigan’s current system, MAPS, keeps track of opioid prescriptions and use by patients. That helps law enforcement and medical professionals keep opioids out of the hands of drug abusers.

But the system isn’t ideal. First implemented in 2003, MAPS hasn’t been significantly updated since. There have also been complaints of the system shutting down or taking too long to get into, and it doesn’t update often enough. Though some have had more success with the system.

Pete Campbell is the owner of LaBrenz Pharmacy in Bay City. His pharmacy frequently uses the current system.

“Overall I think it’s a good system, it works well doing what it was intended to do,” he said. “I know its slowed down a lot of the diversion that’s out there. I guess if they could figure out a way to get more real time data onto that site that would be great.”

Currently, pharmacists and physicians are only required to use MAPS in certain circumstances. Part of the need for a better system comes from potential new laws requiring its use.  

“So our concern originally was, if you’re going to look at broad, sweeping mandated use, we need to replace the system to be able to maintain the system and allow for additional users. Because we don’t have bandwidth currently,” said Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Kim Gaedeke.

The task force has a budget of $2.5 million for the new system and expects the new system to be in place by March or April of 2017.

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