In June 2017, North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan took effect. The state has rolled out changes to schedule II & III prescription drug writing and dispensing requirement in stages. These changes are aimed at combating the opioid addiction that had plagued the state for years. If the state’s Opiod Action Plan is successful then it will save thousands of North Carolinian’s lives. Medical care providers that have schedule II & III prescription capabilities should find time to read the STOP Act if they have not already.
Starting in January 2020 prescribers are required to electronically prescribe all opioids and narcotics that are listed as schedule II and schedule III controlled substances. There are exceptions to the most recent roll out of the STOP legislation.
The law specifies the following exemptions from having to e-prescribe: practitioners, other than a pharmacist, who dispenses directly to an ultimate user; a practitioner who orders a controlled substance to be administered in a hospital, nursing home, hospice facility, outpatient dialysis facility, or residential care facility; a practitioner who experiences temporary technological or electrical failure or other extenuating circumstance that prevents the prescription from being transmitted electronically; provided, however, that the practitioner documents the reason for this exception in the patient’s medical record and a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine.
Practitioners with schedule II & III prescription writing capabilities that are not in compliance already need to take steps immediately to start e-prescribing. Failure to do so can have harmful repercussions on your professional license.
Nothing in this post is intended as legal advice and nothing herein establishes an attorney-client relationship.
*This blog post is not a comprehensive breakdown of the entire STOP Act. You are encouraged to review the STOP Act in detail yourself.