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New law from Bush aims to reduce opioid abuse, prevent doctor shopping

bush drshopping 121317 SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) to reduce opioid abuse and “doctor shopping” was signed into law today.

Senate Bill 772 requires 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 an initial prescription. This would make it harder for individuals to obtain prescriptions from multiple doctors, a practice known as doctor shopping.

“As elected officials, we should be doing everything we can to prevent addiction and reduce opioid abuse,” Bush said. “Requiring doctors to check a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids is a simple way to ensure doctors aren’t overprescribing and patients aren’t doctor shopping.”

In 2015, Bush sponsored the legislation that required pharmacies to file daily reports of all controlled substances they dispense. Until now, however, prescribers of controlled substances were 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.

“This common-sense change has the potential to prevent overdoses, save thousands of lives and advance the shared goal of ending the opioid epidemic,” Bush said. “I look forward to continuing to pass measures that will prevent addiction and help those currently affected by the opioid crisis.”

The law takes effect Jan. 1.