Zorn’s electronic prescription bill becomes law

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn to require prescriptions for opioids to be transmitted from the doctor to the pharmacy electronically was signed into law by the governor on Wednesday.

Electronic prescribing, or e-prescribing, is the use of a technological system by prescribers to write and transmit a patient’s prescription to a participating pharmacy.

“This is a good law that will leverage e-prescribing to improve patient safety and efficient access to necessary medications,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Importantly, it will also help combat the opioid abuse epidemic that still plagues Monroe County by essentially eliminating so-called ‘doctor shopping.’”

Senate Bill 248, sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, which was also signed, requires the electronic prescribing of prescription drugs in Michigan by Oct. 1, 2021. If a prescriber cannot meet the electronic transmission requirements due to a technological limitation that is not reasonably within their control, they can apply for a waiver from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

Zorn’s bill, SB 254, applies to prescriptions for controlled substances containing opioids or benzodiazepines.

According to a Senate Fiscal Agency analysis of the bills, at least 23 states require e-prescribing with certain exemptions.