Martinez Floor 2SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate recently approved legislation making Illinois the first state in the nation to launch a pilot program to provide locking devices on painkiller pharmacy prescriptions.

Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) said her proposal would launch a one-year pilot with participating pharmacies across Illinois. The numerical locking devices would be placed on opioid pharmaceutical prescriptions.

“Too many Illinoisans are getting addicted to and/or overdosing on painkiller drugs, also known as opioids,” Martinez said. “Frequently, opioid drugs are obtained illegally by people who do not have a written prescription.”

Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Prescription painkillers cause three out of four prescription drug overdoses.  Areport compiled by the CDC released in December 2014, finds that deaths from drug poisoning linked to opioid analgesics (such as morphine, oxycodone, methadone and heroin) have jumped to 41,502 in 2012 from 16,849 back in 1999.

The legislation goes back to the House for final approval of technical amendments. The chief House sponsors of the legislation are Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside) and Rep. Robert Martwick, (D-Chicago). 

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