Governor Rauner, pharmacists have to counsel customers

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CHICAGO, Ill., (AP) -- Getting your prescriptions filled could take a little longer than usual.

Governor Bruce Rauner has approved regulations that require pharmacists to counsel customers who seek to fill prescriptions for new medications or need changes to longtime prescriptions.

Until now, pharmacies have been required to only offer to counsel customers. With the new regulations, pharmacists are required to engage in "verbal counseling" before giving medications to a new patient or filling prescriptions with a change in dosage, strength or directions.

The higher standard comes after a Chicago Tribune investigation in December revealed that pharmacies frequently failed to warn customers about severe drug interactions.

The rules aim to improve customer safety, though customers will have the right to refuse counseling.

Carmen Catizone, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Executive Director, says the stricter counseling standard is "needed and long overdue."