Illinois pushes stricter rules on pharmacy consultations
WSIL -- Illinois is considering new rules meant to keep people informed about the prescription pills they take.
Governor Bruce Rauner wants pharmacists to better inform patients about side effects when using multiple prescriptions. His move comes after an investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed many pharmacists up north failed to properly counsel people about the pills they take.
Harold Goot has a comfortable routine when he picks up his prescription at Logan Primary Pharmacy in Herrin.
"I like it because they get the medicine quickly. All the staff are friendly and knowledgeable," Goot said.
Goot says he's very familiar with his pills and usually declines a consultation.
"Personally, for me, I think it's a waste of my time," he said.
The proposed laws could prevent him from doing that in some cases. Rauner has created a task force to draft rules that would require a pharmacist to counsel patients about risky drug combinations and side effects when buying a prescription for the first time.
"It may be as simple as causing extra somnolence or drowsiness, putting you to sleep when you normally wouldn't, and it could be as severe as potentially death," said Ben Calcaterra, president of the Illinois Pharmacist's Association.
Calcaterra welcomes Rauner proposal which would beef up state oversight of pharmacies.
However, he warns it's no easy process. He worries about consultation backlogs and lack of access to patient information.
"It's hard to make a rule that's going to fit all pharmacy work flows across all settings," Calcaterra said.
Goot argues by the time he shows up at the pharmacy, he's already received background information on his medicine from a doctor, and doesn't need it again.
"They wouldn't prescribe something that they know would interact with something else that would be negative," Goot said.
Calcaterra recommends state officials also consider improving and increasing inspections at pharmacies around the state. He calls that a pressing problem, deserving of attention.
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