Consumer FAQsPharmacist FAQs

Pharmacist FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants


Q.  Must the supervising physician's name and phone number be included on prescriptions written by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant?

A.  The North Carolina Medical Board's rules governing Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) state that prescriptions issued by these practitioners must contain the name of the practitioner's supervising physician (PAs and NPs) and the phone number of the supervising physician (PA only).  21 N.C.A.C. 32S.0212(5)(c); 21 NCAC 32M.0109(5)(A).  Does the absence of this information on a prescription from a PA or an NP make the prescription "illegal," "invalid," or otherwise ineligible for dispensing by a pharmacist?
The answer is no.  The Medical Board's requirements are imposed on a PA or NP for purposes of the Medical Board's supervision of those practitioners.  The absence of a supervising physician’s name and telephone number does not render a PA- or NP-issued prescription "invalid," “illegal,” or otherwise ineligible for dispensing under the North Carolina Food Drug and Cosmetic Act or the North Carolina Pharmacy Practice Act.  These statutes set forth requirements for a valid prescription under North Carolina law – and neither requires supervising physician information to be included on PA- or NP-issued prescriptions.
Accordingly, if the Medical Board wished to take action against a practitioner that it regulates for failure to include this information on a prescription, that is the Medical Board's prerogative.  But, again, that information's presence or absence does not affect a PA- or NP-issued prescription’s eligibility for dispensing by a pharmacist.  And if a pharmacist has concerns about a PA- or NP-issued prescription that the pharmacist cannot resolve after discussion with the prescriber, the Medical Board maintains an online database that readily identifies each and every PA's supervising physician(s): Likewise, the North Carolina Board of Nursing maintains an online database that readily identifies each and every NP’s supervising physician(s):



Q: What can Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners prescribe?

A: Physician Assistants Prescribing Authority: 21 - occupational licensing boards and commissions/chapter 32 - north carolina medical board/subchapter s/21 ncac 32s .0212.pdf.

Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Authority:


Q: Are Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners who only dispense sample medications required to register with the Board under Rule .1703?

A: The Board has received numerous inquiries from physician assistants and nurse practitioners about Board of Pharmacy Rule .1703.  PAs and NPs have asked whether that rule’s registration, permitting, and oversight requirements apply when a PA or NP is simply handing out prescription drug samples to patients.  The Board does not interpret Rule .1703’s requirements to apply to a PA or NP who is engaged in traditional sampling – i.e., handing out, free of any charge (whether direct or indirect), starter doses or packets of prescription drug samples received from a prescription drug manufacturer in compliance with the Prescription Drug Marketing Act. 




Return to Pharmacist FAQ Menu