WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2020
COVID-19 RECOVERY ACT AND IDENTIFICATION FOR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE DISPENSING. The General Assembly passed, and Governor Cooper signed into law, the COVID-19 Recovery Act on Monday, May 4, 2020. Among many other things, this statute "extend[s] for a period of five months the validity of [a drivers license] that expired on or after March 1, 2020, and before August 1, 2020. A [drivers license] extended under this section shall expire five months from the date it otherwise expires . . . ." Accordingly, when a pharmacy is reviewing an ID as required for dispensing certain controlled substances (see http://www.ncbop.org/faqs/PhotoIDFAQ.pdf and the paragraph immediately below), a North Carolina license whose expiration has been extended by this statute is "current" and acceptable.
Pharmacists should also be aware that the COVID-19 Recovery Act lessens ID check requirements in certain respects "for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency." Pharmacists "may confirm the identity of an individual seeking dispensation of a prescription by the visual inspection of any form of government-issued photo identification. If the individual seeking dispensation is a known customer, the pharmacist may confirm the individual's identity by referencing existing records, including the controlled substance reporting system." The statute further states that "nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve a pharmacist of the obligation to review information in the controlled substances reporting system in accordance with [the STOP Act]." A STOP Act FAQ may be found here: http://www.ncbop.org/PDF/GuidanceImplementationSTOPACTJuly2017.pdf.