IDHS Prescription Monitoring program helps control prescription drugs abuse in Illinois

For IMMEDIATE Release:
March 31, 2015

Jessica Michael (217) 558-1538
Veronica Vera (312) 793-2665

Program has more than 26,000 registered users

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) continues to be an important tool in combating the misuse of prescription drugs. The PMP collects information on controlled substance prescriptions dispensed in Illinois. The PMP web site allows prescribers and dispensers to view a current or prospective patient's prescription history. The goal of the PMP is to assist in the effective treatment of patients seeking medical care and prevent potential drug interactions and overdoses.

More than 26,000 doctors and pharmacists and 1,100 dentists are using the system and sharing information with 17 other states.

"The PMP is helping prevent the misuse, abuse and diversion of controlled substance medications," said IDHS Acting Secretary Gregory M. Bassi. "Our expansion efforts and partnerships with the medical field and other government organizations have enabled the PMP to be a vital information tool for practitioners and an effective weapon in the fight against prescription drug abuse."

The PMP began in 1986, and at that time monitored only Schedule II prescription drugs, including painkillers, such as morphine and hydrocodone. The PMP began collecting information electronically in 2000 and in 2007; the program was expanded to monitor Schedule III through V drugs, including Codeine, Vicodin and Valium.

In 2012, IDHS and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the PMP Long Term Care (LTC) initiative - an unprecedented opportunity to change the drug prescribing culture in nursing homes. Based upon concerns of the legislature regarding substantial use of behavioral health medications within the nursing home population, IDHS and IDPH entered into an interagency agreement to reduce the use of chemical restraints and improve the quality of care.

"The Long Term Care initiative is an important step in our efforts to better monitor prescriptions for controlled substances, especially among a vulnerable population such as the aging," Bassi said.

The goal of the IDHS/IDPH interagency agreement is to work with the long term care industry to develop reports that will assist medical directors, nursing directors, consultant pharmacists and facility directors in evaluating the care they are providing to their patients.

In 2012, Illinois joined a national data-sharing network that is providing for greater identification and prevention of prescription drug abuse.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's PMP InterConnect program allows participating states to share information on prescriptions of controlled substances. Through this network, IDHS' PMP is better able to identify when patients have been issued duplicate prescriptions for controlled substances across state lines. The program alerts prescribers and dispensers when patients exceed recommended limits on controlled substances, which helps to prevent prescription drug abuse.

PMP is also working to integrate controlled substance prescription data into Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems to allow access to prescription information across healthcare networks, including emergency departments and short and long-term inpatient care.

Last year, PMP collected 21 million prescription records and 26,000 doctors and pharmacists currently refer to that clinical data on a regular basis. Participating pharmacists and doctors complete about 150,000 PMP searches each month.

For more information about the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program please visit