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The 5 Biggest Prescription Errors That Nurse Practitioners Can Make (Part 3: Requirements for Electronically Prescribing Controlled Substances)

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The 5 Biggest Prescription Errors That Nurse Practitioners Can Make (Part 3: Requirements for Electronically Prescribing Controlled Substances)

This is part three (3) of a five (5) part series titled the “5 biggest prescription errors that nurse practitioners can make”. Today’s blog concerns requirements for electronically prescribing schedule II and III controlled substances in North Carolina. We discuss the NC Opioid Action Plan, who is required to e-prescribe controlled substances, and what exceptions exist.

What Changes To Prescribing Controlled Substances Have Been Made In North Carolina?

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 e-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.

Who Is Required To Electronically Prescribe Schedule Ii And Schedule Iii Controlled Substances In North Carolina?

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 to immediately start e-prescribing. Failure to do so can have harmful repercussions on your professional license.
If you are facing professional license discipline, make sure you know what steps you need to take to safeguard your livelihood. North State Law defends all types of professional licenses throughout the state of North Carolina. Call us today at 919-521-8810 if your professional license is in danger.

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.