The Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program

March 2018  

Background and History

Illinois has historically been at the forefront of tracking and monitoring the use of medication. The earliest form of what is now the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) was established by the Illinois State Police in 1958. In 1997, the Department of Human Services (DHS) took over monitoring the state's triplicate prescription program, which it transformed into the automated, online PMP of today. The Illinois State Medical Society has been a partner with and an advocate for the PMP since the start, and continues to strongly support the PMP as an important clinical tool Illinois physicians can use to fight the opioid abuse and overdose epidemic.

What is the Prescription Monitoring Program?

The PMP is an electronic database that collects information on Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substance prescriptions. This prescription data is reported to the PMP database on a daily basis by retail pharmacies dispensing in Illinois. The PMP enhances prescribers’ and dispensers’ capacity to review a patient's prescription history for therapeutic and clinical reasons and to assist in the effective treatment of patients seeking medical care. The PMP was authorized by the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and is funded through annual state appropriations, as well as grants from the United States Department of Justice and other federal agencies.

The Heroin Crisis Act (P.A. 99-0480, frequently referred to as "H.B. 1"), which took effect in 2015, made a number of changes and enhancements to the PMP. These include the creation of an advisory committee, which assists DHS in implementing the PMP and advising on the professional performance of prescribers and dispensers. By statute, the advisory committee consists of four physicians, three pharmacists, one dentist, one podiatric physician, one optometrist, one advance practice registered nurse, and one physician assistant. Of these committee members, three physicians and two pharmacists also serve on a peer review subcommittee, which is charged with conducting confidential quarterly reviews of data to identify prescribers or dispensers practicing outside of currently accepted standards and suggesting communications from the PMP to be sent to all registered prescribers and dispensers.

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