State

Ill. joins network to track prescription drug use

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois medicine-monitoring program has joined a national data-sharing network to help prevent prescription drug abuse.

The Department of Human Services will link its prescription monitoring program to a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy network. It will help Human Services officials to better identify patients who have been issued duplicate prescriptions for controlled substances in different states.

To prevent abuse of prescriptions it will alert physicians and pharmacies when a patient has been given more than recommended dosages.

The program began in Illinois in 1986 but monitored only certain drugs.

Last year, the program collected 18 million prescription records which 19,000 doctors and pharmacies consult regularly.

A federal grant is funding the program's expansion.

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