Calif. issues new prescribing, reporting rules for controlled substances

By DrBicuspid Staff

November 16, 2020 -- California has issued two new prescribing and reporting rules for controlled substances, effective January 1, 2021.

The first requirement stems from an assembly bill strengthening the security requirements for prescription pads. Beginning January 1, pads used to write and fill prescriptions for controlled substances must have a 12-character serial number and corresponding bar code.

Prescriptions written on pads that do not comply with the security requirements will not be filled by pharmacists in 2021 except for in limited, emergency situations. California began issuing approved security prescription pads at the beginning of 2020, and providers are encouraged to order an approved prescription printer as soon as possible.

The second requirement shrinks the timeline to report medication dispensing to the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) from seven days to one business day after medication release. The law applies to both pharmacists and prescribers who dispense controlled substances. It also adds required reporting for schedule V drugs, in addition to schedule II-IV medications.


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