Davis announces legislation to fight opioid abuse at a press conference
with law enforcement and local leaders.
Normal, IL – U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), at a press conference today with Normal Police Department and the Town of Normal, announced the introduction of legislation to help stop opioid abuse.
Davis recently introduced H.R. 5219, the Opioid Prescription Verification Act, to help law enforcement slow the movement of opioids into the illegal market. The legislation would require pharmacists to check the ID of the person picking up an opioid prescription and enter his or her information into the state's prescription drug monitoring program.
“I continue to meet and have conversations with law enforcement, first responders, and our medical community in the district to make sure those on the ground are getting what they need to address opioid abuse in their communities and if not, what more we can do," said Davis. "The bill we’re talking about today came about from these efforts. We came up with H.R. 5219 to deter 'pharmacy shopping' and also help law enforcement be able to track bad actors. To me the idea that these folks brought up is just commonsense. If you’re picking up an opioid prescription, which we know is a highly addictive drug that is becoming a huge problem in our country, you should have to show an ID.”
“The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that’s devastating to the lives of individuals, families, and negatively impacts communities across the country," said Rick Bleichner, Chief of Police, Normal Police Department. "This afternoon’s announcement is a good example of local and federal collaboration at the legislative level to come up with commonsense solutions to impact this problem.”
Davis announced the legislation at a press conference in Normal. Remarks were given by Davis; Rick Bleichner, Chief of Police, Normal Police Department; Jeff Fritzen, Normal Town Council/B-N Community Campus Committee; and Adam Kapchinske, Sergeant, Normal Police Department. Video can be found here.
Currently, Illinois requires pharmacies to record information about the prescription recipient into the Illinois Prescription Management Program, but not the person picking up the prescription. This has led to what is known as 'pharmacy shopping' where drug dealers seek out pharmacies to fill opioid prescriptions prescribed to someone else.
H.R. 5219 would an extra check in place to deter pharmacy shopping and provide data that can help law enforcement track bad actors. This is similar to ID requirements that were placed on Sudafed sales in 2005 to combat the meth epidemic.
This bill is the result of a meeting Davis had with the Normal Police Department in October where they described this problem they were seeing in the area.
A report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week found the opioid crisis worsening with the Midwest being hurt the worst with a 70 percent increase from 2016 in hospitalizations due to opioid overdoses. Illinois saw a 66 percent increase last year.