New Illinois proposal aims to protect pharmacy customers

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CHICAGO (AP) — In an effort to increase pharmacy accountability and ensure public safety, Governor Bruce Rauner calls for stronger regulations that oversee pharmacy consultations in Illinois.

The governor says an investigation conducted by the Chicago Tribune reveals flaws in the state’s current pharmacy system that puts patients at risk. The Tribune visited more than 200 pharmacies to see how often stores sold dangerous drug pairings without telling consumers about potentially deadly consequences. They found 52 percent of the pharmacies sold the medications without mentioning the potential interaction.

The proposal submitted to the Illinois Register would demand pharmacists to advise patients about risky drug combinations and other important issues when changing a prescription or purchasing a medication for the first time.

Currently, state law only requires a pharmacist to offer recommendations to a patient at the cash register, with a brief review.

Rauner also plans to launch a “mystery shopper” program that would test how well pharmacists are complying with the law.