Bill Allows For Opioid RX Refusal

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Lawmakers are working on legislation to help curb the growing opioid crisis. Some are asking what this will cost those who really need the drugs?

The bill, already passed by the House, will allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions if they feel it was not written by a legitimate doctor, not being used for medical purposes, or if they feel that the prescribed amount is more than is necessary. The bill also states that a pharmacist who refuses to fill a prescription can not be held liable for any injury or death

Phil Demico has needed pain medication for multiple surgeries over the past 20 years. His pain started when he was a child suffering from gastrointestinal issues. He started taking opiods several times a day for his chronic pain.

"Over time there is the whole tolerance thing, and then there is a few of us out there through genetic testing that don't metabolize as well as other people and some of us have less pain receptors," said Demico.

He is worried the new bill could affect him getting his much needed relief and create more hassle to get the medication he relies on.

"There are people who will use and abuse,that doesn't mean everybody does though," said Demico.

But those supporting the bill say it's just one more way to help keep the medications out of the hands of abusers.

"Today the pharmacist is eyeball to eyeball with the patient and at the very last point in time," said Michigan Pharmacists Association CEO, Larry Wagenkecht.

Wagenkecht says any extra eyes are a good thing.

"Pharmacist are the medication experts and so we have the opportunity to see patients when they come I with a variety of medical needs. Today we are very much focused in on making sure that pain medications are used appropriately," said Wagenkecht.

The Senate is expected to take action on this bill in the next few weeks.