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Bush moves to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping

bush 052517SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to curb opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” advanced out of the Illinois Senate today with unanimous support.

Senate Bill 1607, sponsored by Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), would require prescribers of controlled substances to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database to see if a patient has been prescribed a controlled substance by another doctor prior to writing a script. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.

“Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States,” Bush said. “We should do everything in our power to reduce opioid addiction and overdose. This legislation would make it harder for individuals to shop for doctors and obtain multiple opioid prescriptions. This is a key step toward tackling the opioid epidemic we’re facing in Illinois.”                     

In 2015, Bush sponsored the legislation that required pharmacies to file daily reports of all controlled substances they dispense. Under the current law, however, prescribers of controlled substances are not required to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database before writing prescriptions. Studies show that as few as 14 percent of physicians always check the database before prescribing controlled substances.

“We have the opportunity to prevent overdoses and save thousands of lives,” Bush said. “But the monitoring program will only be effective if there is universal use of the database by both prescribers and dispensers of controlled substances.”

Senate Bill 1607 will now go to the House for consideration.

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