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Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Multiple Schedule II Prescriptions

Q: Can I fill Schedule II prescriptions bearing a "do not fill until" date?

A: Yes, within limits established by DEA:

Effective December 19, 2007 prescribers will be authorized to write multiple prescriptions on the same day to be filled sequentially for schedule II controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued the final rule on Monday, November 19 (, which reflects APhA's recommendation to remove language that could have been interpreted to add an additional duty on health providers (including pharmacists) for schedule II prescriptions. However, the DEA chose not to defer to prescribers on the most appropriate time limitation, instead retaining the 90-day the prescription order limit in the original proposed rule. The new regulation does not affect State laws and regulations, which may be more restrictive. Specifically, the new rule amends Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1306 as follows:

§ 1306.12 Refilling prescriptions; issuance of multiple prescriptions.
(a) The refilling of a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II is prohibited.
(b)(1) An individual practitioner may issue multiple prescriptions authorizing the patient to receive a total of up to a 90-day supply of a Schedule II controlled substance provided the following conditions are met:
(i) Each separate prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice;
(ii) The individual practitioner provides written instructions on each prescription (other than the first prescription, if the prescribing practitioner intends for that prescription to be filled immediately) I indicating the earliest date on which a pharmacy may fill each prescription;
(iii) The individual practitioner concludes that providing the patient with multiple prescriptions in this manner does not create an undue risk of diversion or abuse;
(iv) The issuance of multiple prescriptions as described in this section is permissible under the applicable state laws; and
(v) The individual practitioner complies fully with all other applicable requirements under the Act and these regulations as well as any additional requirements under state law.
(2) Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall be construed as mandating or encouraging individual practitioners to issue multiple prescriptions or to see their patients only once every 90 days when prescribing Schedule II controlled substances. Rather, individual practitioners must determine on their own, based on sound medical judgment, and in accordance with established medical standards, whether it is appropriate to issue multiple prescriptions and how often to see their patients when doing so.

3. Section 1306.14 is amended by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:

§ 1306.14 Labeling of substances and filling of prescriptions.
(e) Where a prescription that has been prepared in accordance with section 1306.12(b) contains instructions from the prescribing practitioner indicating that the prescription shall not be filled until a certain date, no pharmacist may fill the prescription before that date.

APhA's statement to the DEA on the proposed regulation can be accessed here.



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