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New law requires prescribers to enroll in the Prescription Monitoring Program by January 1, 2018

Public Act (P.A.) 100-0564, as amended, requires all prescribers with a controlled substance license to enroll in the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) by January 1, 2018.

This requirement came about because the automatic PMP enrollment provisions of House Bill 1, which was adopted in 2015, have not been implemented. Thus, a change in the law was necessary to ensure that all prescribers with controlled substance licenses are explicitly required to enroll. 

P.A. 100-0564 requires all prescribers (or their designee) to attempt to check the PMP prior to writing an initial prescription for a Schedule II opioid.  That attempt must be documented in the patient’s medical record. This is language that ISMS advocated for to ensure that if the PMP is not working, the prescriber will not be in violation of the law if they need to prescribe Schedule II opioids.  Our physicians have many serious concerns about the usability of the PMP.  While we are hopeful that recent federal grant money will improve how the PMP functions, there will inevitably be situations where the technology or the system as a whole may not be working.

The original version of SB 1607 would have required the PMP to be checked prior to any and all prescriptions for Schedule II through Schedule V drugs.  As we have seen in other states, broad-based mandates like this have had negative effects on the provision of patient care, including for patients who have legitimate medical needs for pain medication. These negative effects of the efforts to reduce opioid prescribing were recently documented in a Chicago Tribune article (" the opioid crackdown," June 5, 2017). We believe narrowing the check requirement to Schedule II opioids moves us closer to the goal of curbing the misuse of prescribed opioids. 

The bill contains exemptions to the PMP check requirement; prescriptions for oncology treatment and palliative care are not subject to the mandatory PMP check, and any opioid prescription for a supply of seven days or less provided in the ER for acute traumatic medical conditions is also exempt. This last exemption was suggested by ISMS member physicians who work in the ER.

The bill also requires hospitals to facilitate the designation of a prescriber’s designee for checking the PMP for services provided at the hospital.  

P.A. 100-0564 is effective January 1, 2018.

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