Schedule II Controlled Substances - Changes a Pharmacist May Make to Written Prescriptions - Utah Law Update
May 24, 2010
The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) recently issued a statement clarifying what a pharmacist may change on written prescriptions for schedule II controlled substances, based on a verbal communication between DOPL staff members and a local representative of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The full statement is posted online at http://dopl.utah.gov/licensing/forms/pharmacy_sched_II_clairification.pdf.
The DOPL statement identifies 4 key elements which must be complete and correct on all written prescriptions for schedule II controlled substances. Pharmacists may not change, or add, these elements on written prescriptions for a schedule II controlled substance. If any of these elements are missing from the written prescription, the prescription is considered invalid and the prescriber must issue a new prescription:
- Date the prescription was written, including the day, month, or year
- Patient name
- Name of the medication, with the exception of the generic name if generic substitution is indicated on the prescription
- Prescriber signature.
The DOPL statement also clarifies which changes a pharmacist may make to prescriptions for schedule II controlled substances, and which changes require prescriber verification, as follows:
- Prescriber verification required: After consulting the prescriber, pharmacists may change or add the medication dosage form, drug strength, drug quantity, and directions for use. The pharmacist must note any such changes on the prescription and indicate that the change was verified with the prescriber.
- No prescriber verification required: Pharmacists may change or add patient information (eg, address, birth date) after verifying this information with the patient or their caregiver. Pharmacists may also record the prescriber’s DEA number on the prescription. Although the DEA number is not required to be written on the prescription, the pharmacist is responsible for verifying that the prescriber has a valid DEA number prior to dispensing the medication.
Because regulations differ between states, clinicians licensed in other states should consult the licensing authority and Controlled Substances Act of their individual state.
May 21, 2010; University of Utah, Drug Information Service. Copyright 2010, Drug Information Service, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.