Illinois Lawmakers Approve Bottle Locking Bill for Painkillers

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly approved final changes to legislation that could launch a pilot program to provide locking devices for painkiller pharmacy prescriptions.

House Bill 3219 is the first locking device bill passed in the United States.

The bill is sponsored by Representative Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside). If the Governor signs the legislation into law, the bill would launch a one-year pilot program with the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation with participating pharmacies.

Numerical locking devices, such as those used for gym locks, would be installed on pharmaceutical prescriptions for opioids.

Zalewski worked with Representative Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) and Senator Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) on the bill.

“When it comes to addiction and substance abuse issues, we've seen time and time again the need for an aggressive approach to deter abusers,” Zalewski says.

Martwick chose to co-sponsor the bill to help prevent prescription drug deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990 with prescription painkillers causing three out of four prescription drug overdoses.

The bill would take effect January 1, 2016 if the legislation is signed into law.

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