Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $400,000)
Since the beginning of FY 2002, Congress has appropriated funding to the U.S. Department of Justice to support the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Prescription drug monitoring programs enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data through a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. These programs are designed to help prevent and detect the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, particularly at the retail level where no other automated information collection system exists.
States that have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs have the capability of collecting and analyzing prescription data much more efficiently than states without such programs, where the collection of prescription information requires the manual review of pharmacy files which is a very time consuming and invasive process. The increased efficiency of prescription drug monitoring programs allows for the early detection of abuse trends and possible sources of diversion.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has drafted changes to the current Illinois Controlled Substances Act. These proposed changes will expand the agency's legal authority to monitor controlled prescription drugs to include all schedules except the experimental Schedule I drugs. The expectation is that the Illinois General Assembly will enact this legislation during the 2007 session. With approved legislative authority, IDHS will modify its program capacity to collect Schedules III through V prescription data. The proposed modification will allow doctors and pharmacists access to the prescription drug monitoring database with access restricted to their patients' information. The modification will also allow secure electronic linkage between prescribers and dispensers. Following passage of the proposed changes, Illinois will be able to enter into bilateral and regional state agreements with other prescription monitoring entities to share information within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations. IDHS plans to inform law enforcement, regulatory agencies, medical providers, and pharmaceutical dispensers of enhancements to the database, using various methods and venues (e.g., mail, news release, regional meetings). Collaboration with numerous federal and state agencies and professionals organizations will continue and input from these entities will assist IDHS in implementing an enhanced prescription drug monitoring program.