Controlled Substance Update - Pharmacist Newsletter December 2006

Oral Prescriptions for Controlled Substances

Oral prescriptions for schedule II, III, IV (benzodiazepines only), and V controlled substances are limited to a 5-day supply. Oral prescriptions for schedule IV non-benzodiazepine controlled substances are limited to a 30-day supply or 100 dosage units, whichever is less. Practitioners orally prescribing controlled substances are required to deliver a follow-up official New York State prescription to the pharmacist within 72 hours.

If the pharmacist fails to receive the follow-up prescription for an orally prescribed schedule II or benzodiazepine controlled substance, he/she is required to notify the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement in writing within 7 days of dispensing the drug. If the pharmacist fails to receive the follow-up prescription for an orally prescribed schedule III, IV (non-benzodiazepine), or V controlled substance, he/she is required only to record on the written memorandum "Official prescription not received", the name of the pharmacist, and the date recorded.

When transmitting prescription information to the Department of Health from oral prescriptions for controlled substances, pharmacists should enter the number '9' eight times in the field for the prescription serial number.

Dispensing Buprenorphine for Opiate Dependence

Pharmacists are authorized to dispense prescriptions for buprenorphine (ie; Suboxone®, Subutex®) issued by qualified physicians for the treatment of opiate dependence. In addition to all information required by controlled substance law and regulations, such prescriptions must contain the X-registration number assigned to the physician by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Prescriptions for buprenorphine may be refilled up to 5 times within 6 months from the date of issuance, if authorized by the prescriber.

Controlled Substance Prescribing by Nurse Practitioners and Physician's Assistants

A licensed Nurse Practitioner (NP) who is registered with DEA is authorized to prescribe schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances. A controlled substance prescription issued by a NP must contain the imprinted name of the NP but is not required to contain the imprinted name of the collaborating physician.

A licensed Physician's Assistant (PA) who is registered with DEA may prescribe schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances if authorized to do so by his or her supervising physician. A controlled substance prescription issued by a PA must contain the imprinted names of

The controlled substance law and regulations may be viewed online at: the New York State Department of Health's Web site. Pharmacists with questions about official prescriptions or controlled substances may contact the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement at (866) 811-7957 or online at: narcotic@health.state.ny.us