The Agency aims to allow electronic prescriptions for Schedule II to V drugs between registered retail pharmacies on a one-time basis for the first refill.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a notice of proposed regulations to address the transfer of electronically prescribed controlled substances. The aim is to change existing rules that do not allow the transfer of prescriptions between pharmacies for the first fill of a prescription for a controlled substance. The change would allow the transfer of an electronic prescription for Schedule II to V drugs between DEA-registered retail pharmacies on a one-time basis for an initial fill.
Under current rules, the DEA has not developed markings for the transfer of electronic or paper prescriptions on a first fill. DEA regulatory guidelines previously made it clear that unfulfilled regulations could not be transferred. Now the DEA has chosen to change its stance only on electronic prescriptions. Notably, the DEA refuses to allow the transfer of unfilled hardcopy prescriptions. The reasons the DEA has put forward for refusing a one-time transfer of unfilled paper prescriptions are their transferability and
the patient’s ability to get the prescription back from the pharmacist. However, unlike an unfilled hardcopy prescription, an electronic prescription cannot be “handed over” to patients so they can take it to other pharmacy locations for fulfillment. For example, if a pharmacy receives an electronic prescription for controlled substances that it cannot fill, all it can do is notify the patient. The pharmacy is not able to return an electronic prescription to the patient as with a hardcopy. At that point, the patient should contact the doctor again and try to prescribe it electronically to another pharmacy. This scenario represents a very cumbersome process for patients, pharmacies and prescribers.
As a result, the DEA is rethinking its stance to ensure that regulations can be met without hindering patient care. The DEA has said many states have some form of electronic requirement for controlled substances, which historically have not been the case. Clearly, the proliferation of electronic prescribing and advances in technology have driven the DEA’s decision to invoke the proposed rule.
The mechanisms of the proposed rule impose requirements on the transferring pharmacist and the acquiring pharmacist to continue to comply with the new switching fee. The therapeutic treatment of COVID-19 has evolved with the understanding of the clinical course of infection. The patient must request the transfer at all times, the transfer must be communicated between 2 licensed pharmacists and the prescription must remain in electronic form.
In addition, the contents of the prescription must comply with existing DEA requirements and must not be changed during the electronic transfer process from one pharmacy to another. According to the DEA, state law should also allow this activity.
The transferring pharmacist must ensure that the electronic prescription file is properly updated to record that the prescription has been transferred. That pharmacist must also update information for the pharmacy to which the prescription was transferred: the name, address, and DEA registration number of the pharmacy to which the prescription was transferred; the name of the pharmacist receiving the prescription transfer; the name of the transferring pharmacist; and the transfer date.
Likewise, the transferring pharmacist must record the name, address, DEA registration number, transferring pharmacist’s name, transfer date, and the name of the pharmacist receiving the transferred prescription from the transferring pharmacy. In accordance with other DEA requirements, the electronic transfer record must be kept for 2 years.
The DEA estimates the annual savings from the transfer rule at $22 million. The DEA provides a detailed assessment of how it arrived at this figure based on calculating time savings in communication between patients, physicians and prescribers about the reissue of a new e-prescription rather than the ability to immediately initiate a one-time transfer of the e-prescription. prescription. Interested parties can respond to the rule until January 18, 2022.
Transfer of electronic prescriptions for Schedule II-V controlled substances between pharmacies for initial
stuffing. Federal registry. November 19, 2021. Accessed December 15, 2021. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/19/2021-24981/transfer-of-electronic-prescriptions-for-schedules-ii-v-control – substances-between-pharmacies-for