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Groups Look To Stop Drug Switch For Mental Health Prisoners

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Switching to cheaper medications for prisoners is part of the debate of budget cuts.

Switching to cheaper medications for prisoners is part of the debate of budget cuts.

CBS Detroit (con't)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – A coalition of Michigan Judicial and Medical groups want the Snyder Administration to stop a drug switching policy for mental health prison inmates.

Michigan Partners in Crisis says the switch made this year will save the state 15 million dollars, by giving mental health inmates cheaper medications.

WWJ spoke to Mark Reinstein, President of the Michigan Mental Health Association.

“If everyone that was on a brand only anti-psychotic in February of 2011 were switched to the generic ….it would save about $20 dollars per patient, per day, $20 per patient, per day verses $140 dollars per patient, per day if a patients say were extended, what is the better deal for Michigan taxpayers,” asks Reinstein.

He adds the new policy is already causing once- stable inmates to be more disruptive, forcing longer stays in prison.

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