Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program: Doctors should monitor heavy drugs

The program is designed to prevent the misuse, abuse and diversions of controlled prescription medications.

The program is designed to prevent the misuse, abuse and diversions of controlled prescription medications.

For many of us, a trip to the local pharmacy to fill a prescription is a routine event we don’t think too much about. The pharmacists and doctors, however, share a great deal of liability. While most patients follow their prescriptions responsibly, others are misusing the drugs for recreation, illegal sale and other unlawful purposes. Schedule II-V prescriptions have varying known levels of abuse and can lead to psychological or physical dependence. Schedule II drugs such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone, have the highest potential for abuse[i].

The Illinois Department of Human Services (“IDHS”) implemented the Prescription Monitoring Program[ii] (“PMP”) and is connected to a national database to identify and prevent abuse of prescription drugs.

The program is designed to prevent the misuse, abuse and diversions of controlled prescription medications. The PMP database is useful to prevent “doctor shopping” because registered database users can identify patients who excessively obtain controlled drug prescriptions. The PMP database is also integrated with Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) systems that can be accessed across healthcare networks.

Chicago health law attorney, Michael V. Favia, recognizes that prescription drug abuse is a serious problem, “Many physicians and health practitioners who prescribe drugs sometimes get in serious trouble because they are not properly monitoring their patients use of heavy drugs.  What happens is that sometimes addicted patients will go to several doctors asking or seeking addictive drugs.”

Using the PMP system, retail pharmacists, hospitals and dispensing physicians enter their written prescriptions within seven days of dispensing controlled substances. “Each doctor that prescribes these drugs should be checking the Prescription Monitoring Program to see if anyone else is prescribing the same type of drugs. Failure to do so can result in serious disciplinary problems,” Favia suggests.

To register and participate in PMP:

To register for the PMP system, Illinois physicians, physician’s assistants, advance practice nurses, residents, dentists, optometrists and veterinarians may use the prescriber link (and pharmacists use the pharmacist link) on the PMP website.

Michael V. Favia & Associates are available to assist with physicians working to prevent prescription drug abuse. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please visit and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.

[i], Get Informed, controlled substances

[ii] 720 ILCS 570/316


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