State Rep. Hank Vaupel of Handy Township has been named the “Legislator of the Year” by the Michigan Pharmacists Association.

Vaupel, a Republican who chairs the House Health Policy Committee, says he is “humbled and honored” to receive the award. Vaupel says he has worked on legislation to help pharmacists which would provide solutions to the opioid epidemic. Vaupel says he has strived to give pharmacists a voice and is looking forward to working with them in the future.

In 2017, Vaupel’s committee advanced a proposal that included reforms allowing pharmacists to deny prescriptions they don’t feel were written in good faith. Oftentimes, pharmacists said they didn’t feel comfortable filing a prescription but felt they had to, due to the legal consequences of a refusal.

The bill would provide legal immunity to pharmacists who refuse to fill such prescriptions. The measure now awaits consideration by the Senate Health Policy Committee. (TT)