Michigan cracks down on prescription drug overdose with updated monitoring system

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About eighteen thousand people die every year because of prescription drug overdose but with Michigan’s improved way to keep track of patients prescriptions it is predicted for overdose and abuse to decline.

Maps is the collection of controlled medication that patients get  the state collects them in a file  so that a doctor or pharmacist can see how much did they get when they got it,” said pharmacist from Knight Drugs Polly Cove. 

Maps helps to make sure patients aren’t taking too much of one medication, duplicating medications or seeing more than one doctor and having them not know about each other. Drugs that are painkillers like morphine and oxycodone are usually what doctors and pharmacists check for when using the MAPS system. 

“Sometimes as a pharmacist my job ends up being drug police,” said Cove. “I have to be the tattle tale that has to call and let the doctor know that the patient is not being straightforward.”

The maps collection system has been around for 10 years, but the new system is much faster. What used to take up to 5 minutes now can be seen in the instant click of a button.

“You can search by certain time frames to see certain doctors and medications in order to get rid of what you don’t want to see and see more of what you do want to see,” said Cove. 

Cove says in her 25 years as a pharmacist “prescription drug abuse has always been a problem but i think it’s increased a lot within the past 5 to 10 years.”

According to MAPS Drugs Utilization Report it is predicted this new system will bring down prescription drug abuse by 15 percent by the end of this year.

The new MAPS system will be in full effect statewide by the end of this May.