Illinois legislators passed a bill to create a pilot program that will give pharmacies the option of placing locking devices on some painkiller prescriptions to ensure only the patient has access to the medication. The bill, which is with Governor Bruce Rauner, calls on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to run the year-long, voluntary program starting in January 2016. If the bill becomes law, for pharmacies choosing to participate, it would require that every new or refilled prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance containing hydrocodone be dispensed only “in a non-reusable medicine locking closure package,” defined as any alphanumeric combination locking closure mechanism that can only be unlocked with a user-generated, resettable code. The locking device would prevent anyone without the code from accessing the prescription vial.
Note: This item is a clarification to a June 24 e-News article that neglected to highlight that this pilot program would be voluntary. NABP regrets the oversight and apologizes for any confusion.