Doctors ask for patience amid new prescribing laws

posted by WOOD TV -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Doctors are asking for understanding from patients as they work to comply with new controlled substance prescribing laws.

The legislation that went into effect June 1 requires doctors talk to patients about risks and obtain their signature on an “Opioid Start Talking” form. In order to prescribe more than three days' worth of a controlled substance, a doctor must first check the patient’s prescription history through the state’s MAPS database.

The new laws do not apply to chronic pain and instead address acute pain only, like what one would experience with a broken bone, kidney stones or extensive surgery.

Additionally, beginning July 1, a doctor treating a patient for acute pain cannot prescribe more than a 7-day supply of opioids in a 7-day period.

“I would ask that patients be understanding,” wrote Dr. Michael Olgren in an email responding to questions about the new law from 24 Hour News 8.

“These laws place a significant burden on doctors, who now must look up MAPS reports before creating any new prescription of a controlled substance. Many may not realize that this includes medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Valium, Lyrica and testosterone… This takes time and may delay patient care.”

An emergency room physician at Metro Hospital said it’s been “confusing at times” to sort through and interpret the new laws.

Full story: WOOD TV

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