Illinois pharmacists to lock painkiller scripts

July 6, 2015

Illinois legislators recently approved a pilot program that would place locking devices on some prescription painkillers.

Illinois legislators recently approved a pilot program that would place locking devices on some prescription painkillers.

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House Bill 3219 instructs the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to implement a pilot project requiring that every new or refilled prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance containing hydrocodone shall only be dispensed in a non-reusable medicine locking closure package. Numerical locking devices, similar to those used on gym lockers, would be put on prescription bottles, according to an Associated Pressarticle.

H.B. 3219 says the medicine locking closure package must be dispensed by the pharmacy with instructions for patient use. However, it exempts prescriptions reimbursed via Medicare Part D and Medicaid and prescriptions, “for individuals residing in facilities licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act.”

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If signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, the law will go into effect January 1, 2016. The Department can spend up to $150,000 on the pilot project.

State Rep. Mike Zalewski sponsored the bill because, he says, a more aggressive approach is needed to fight addiction and substance abuse, the article stated.

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