SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) --
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.