Bill to curb opioid ‘pharmacy shopping’ has its roots in Bloomington-Normal

Rodney Davis
Congressman Rodney Davis, joined by local leaders at a news conference, announced he’s introducing a bill requiring people to show identification to pharmacists when they fill opioid prescriptions. (Photo by Howard Packowitz/WJBC)

By Howard Packowitz

NORMAL – A case of what authorities said was illegal pharmacy shopping for opioids in Bloomington-Normal has led to federal legislation aimed at curbing the spread of the highly-addictive painkiller.

At a news conference Friday in Uptown Normal, Central Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis joined local leaders and police to introduce a bill requiring people with opioid prescriptions to show identification to the pharmacist.

“Those who are in the business of possibly selling those pills, those who are addicted and maybe using those pills, they need to be able to tell that pharmacist who they are so that law enforcement can go find out who the bad actors are,” said Davis.

The congressman said the need for the legislation became apparent last summer when local police arrested three Chicago area residents who went from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to fill fraudulent opioid prescriptions.

Normal Police Sgt. Adam Kapchinske said pharmacists became suspicious and called police.

“They did a great job recognizing something was up. They kind of understand that they had a cycle of two or three people coming in with extremely high and rare prescriptions. So they brought it to our attention that something was out of place,” Sgt. Kapchinske said.

The matter was brought to the congressman’s attention by the Sergeant and Normal Town Councilman Jeff Fritzen.

Davis’ bill also calls for information about opioid prescriptions to be entered into a presciption drug monitoring data base.

The congressman said his proposal is a good first step in breaking the cycle of opioid addiction. Davis expects the bill to pass because he said opioid abuse is not a partisan issue.

Howard Packowitz can be reached at



Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…

Reactions to the “A Community in Conflict” exhibit

By Mike Matejka Every community has its home-town pride; Bloomington-Normal is proud to claim Steak n’ Shake and MASH TV star McLean Stevenson.  We’ve also had a moment of contention and conflict.  Sometimes these are uplifting stories of human progress. At other times, they cause us to shake our heads and wonder why. The McLean…