The American Medical Association (AMA) released a new fact sheet to assist physicians in complying with new federal regulations on prescribing hydrocodone and help avoid disruptions in patient care. The rule, effective October 6, 2014, reschedules hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) into Controlled Substance Schedule II. Millions of patients will be impacted by this new rule from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the new resource will help physicians understand the rule and avoid interruptions in access to medically necessary HCPs for their patients.
“The AMA is strongly committed to combating prescription drug abuse and diversion while at the same time preserving patient access to medically necessary treatments for pain,” said Dr. Robert M. Wah, President of the AMA. “This new fact sheet explains how new regulatory changes impact both physicians and pharmacists, which will help ensure patients continue having access to the care they need under the new federal rule.”
Here are some of the new guidelines that may affect your practice and patients:
Impact on Prescribers Starting on October 6, 2014:
- Prescriptions for HCPs must be written on a hard copy, original prescription or electronically transmitted where e-prescribing of C-IIs is allowed by state law, the prescriber is certified to e- prescribe C-IIs, and the pharmacy is certified to accept electronically prescribed controlled substances. Fax transmission is not allowed.
- Prescriptions for HCPs cannot be called into a pharmacy.
- Prescriptions for HCPs cannot be refilled (unless the prescription was issued before October 6, 2014). Note that many health insurers will not honor these refills and that many pharmacies will not be able to refill prescriptions issued prior to October 6, 2014 due to state law limitations and some pharmacy safety and quality systems and processes.
Impact on Patients Starting on October 6, 2014:
- In many cases, prescriptions for HCPs issued prior to October 6, 2014 will not be refillable due to state law restrictions or feasibility pursuant to some pharmacy’s safety and quality systems and processes. Please check with your pharmacy. Also note that your health plan may not honor such refills; patients should check with their health insurer.
- New prescriptions for HCPs will not have refills.
Click here for the full fact sheet.
(Photo by Guian Bolisay via Flickr)