House Approves Rx Notification of Potential Opioid Addiction

To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawvile) to provide patients with more information concerning the potential addiction to taking prescribed medicine that includes opioids.

“My goal of this legislation is to help save lives and reduce the number of opioid deaths,” said Rep. Meier. “Prescriptions which include opioids are often used in pain killers and can become highly addictive. This bill will make sure when people pick up their prescription, they are aware of the potential risks of taking medication that includes opioids. I want to thank local author Ellen Krohne for bringing this important issue to my attention.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), drug overdoses have now become the leading cause of death nationwide for people under the age of 50. In Illinois, opioid overdoses have killed nearly 11,000 people since 2008. Beyond these deaths are thousands of emergency department visits, hospital stays, as well as the pain suffered by individuals, families, and communities. The opioid epidemic is the most significant public health and public safety crisis facing Illinois.

Effective upon becoming law, House Bill 3355 sponsored by Rep. Meier will require the Illinois Department of Human Services to develop and make available upon request to all prescribers, pharmacists, and patients in Illinois a pamphlet which explains the risks of developing a physical or psychological dependence on opioids. Requires that a pharmacist, prior to dispensing an opioid that is a Schedule II controlled substance, furnish a pamphlet or information developed by DHS and discuss the risks of developing a physical or psychological dependence on opioids.

HB 3355 now heads to the Senate for consideration.