Grant sponsored legislation targets open access to opioids

Earlier this Spring, State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) introduced HB 1879 in response to an incident involving a stolen prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance at a Chicagoland pharmacy.

The proposed bill aims to close a loophole reported on by CBS Chicago where a Chicago area woman’s opioid prescription was stolen. The incident involved Doris Jones, whose oxycodone prescription was wrongfully dispensed to an unidentified individual that somehow knew her personal details.

“I’m committed to finding real and meaningful solutions to the opioid crisis that has taken our country by storm” said Rep. Grant. “I’m excited about this bill because not only does it rein in destruction from the unfettered opioid crisis, but it also protects the personal privacy rights of patients” Grant concluded.

The pharmacy, a CVS in Riverdale, acknowledged the error, but the lack of security footage and other variables have left the case unresolved. The theft highlights the potential risks of Illinois’ current process for distributing Schedule II controlled substances, which includes a lack of protocol when distributing powerful medications such as opioids, as well as personal privacy concerns. It is against this backdrop that Rep. Grant decided to act.

Grant’s proposed legislation would change state law to require individuals to show an ID when picking up prescriptions for medications that are on the Schedule II controlled substance list, which include heavy painkillers that come with a high potential for abuse.

Rep. Grant has found substantial support for HB1879 amongst fellow representatives, with over two dozen bipartisan lawmakers signing on as cosponsors. However, the bill faced a setback when it was not called for a debate or a vote during the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee hearing. Despite this challenge, Rep. Grant has remained committed to advancing the change with hopes to safeguard personal privacy and prevent prescription drug abuse.

The proposed bill aligns the process for picking up these prescriptions in Illinois pharmacies with less potent medications and non-medical products requiring identification for purchase. This includes medications such as Sudafed, certain extra strength allergy medications, or even the household plumbing product Drano.

House Bill 1879 is part of a broader effort from Illinois House Republicans to address Illinois’ opioid crisis, which has been a significant public health issue in recent years. Through the implementation of stricter pickup procedures, HB1879 will protect all Illinoisans from privacy vulnerabilities in pharmacies along with drug abuse & misuse.