Illinois to join national network to fight prescription drug abuse
METROPOLIS, IL- Mike Souders has been a pharmacist for nearly 4 decades. Over the past ten years the faces he has gotten used to have given way to strangers.
"It is when names come up we're not sure of, that's when we start checking," he said of trying to prevent doctor-shopping by using a state-wide database.
"We live on the borderline so we see a lot of potential for abuse," he continued.
Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder says the county's prescription drug problem is second only to meth.
Currently, 6 people are jailed for doctor shopping. He says he would have more if they had not crossed state lines to avoid getting caught. That is why he is eager for the state to join a national network aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse.
Illinois will soon link its prescription monitoring program to a National Association Boards of Pharmacy network. It means one computer check will cover every state rather than doing multiple checks if doctor shopping is suspected.
"We're trying to make sure the ones that need it get it and the ones that don't don't," Souders said of the new initiative.
No word on when Illinois' transition will be complete. Kentucky, meanwhile, has signed a memorandum of understanding to join the network.
Illinois' expansion to the national network will be covered by a federal grant.