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April 13, 2010

Joint Committee Approves New Rules to Increase Access and Protect the Safety of Illinois Health Care Consumers

SPRINGFIELD – Two new rules designed to improve the quality of and access to better health care, crafted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, were approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules earlier today.  The first rule ensures that Illinois patients who receive a prescription from their family doctor will have a reasonable assurance that their local pharmacy will fill the prescription in a timely manner.  The second rule requires new dental sedation training for dentists and their staff.   The new dental sedation rules were developed after two Chicago area patients died after being sedated for dental treatment. 

The Pharmaceutical Access Rule requires each licensed retail pharmacy to deliver lawfully prescribed drugs and non-prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for restricted distribution by pharmacies, and were designed to protect patients from having to travel extraordinary distances or to multiple pharmacies to obtain highly time sensitive medication. 

“The changes in pharmacy stocking requirements will protect access to life-saving medications for all Illinois residents and will give every Illinois family reasonable assurances that they can fill their doctor’s prescription at their local family drug store,” said Brent Adams, Secretary, Financial and Professional Regulation. 

The dental sedation rule increases the amount of training needed by assistants and dental hygienists who assist in cases where a patient is sedated.  It also clarifies what monitoring equipment must be used and specifies monitoring procedures for the dental professionals involved in every case involving light and moderate sedation.  It also clearly defines a dentist’s responsibility to ensure that staff are appropriately trained and equipped to provide emergency patient care if needed.

“The new dental sedation rules will provide a significant step in improving the safety of Illinois dental patients who seek sedation during treatment,” said Donald W. Seasock, Acting Director, Division of Professional Regulation. “By clarifying what pre-treatment planning is needed and what staff training and monitoring is necessary, we should reduce the risk for patients treated under light or moderate sedation.”

The final rules will take effect when they are published in the Illinois Register. They will be posted at www.idfpr.com when they are published.


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