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Pharmacist FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Expiration Date of Prescription Orders:

Q: Do prescription orders or prescription documents have an expiration date?

A: There is no specific provision in statute or rule that says a prescription document or order has an expiration date. Federal regulations provide that prescriptions for drugs in Schedules III and IV shall not be filled or refilled more than 6 months after the date of issue. Effective October 1, 2013, North Carolina law provides that “No Schedule II substance shall be dispensed pursuant to a written prescription more than six months after the date it was prescribed.”

Board rule provides that a pharmacist can refuse to fill or refill a prescription if they believe it is harmful to the patient, not in the patient’s best interest or there is a question as to its validity.


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