- New Prescribing Laws Take Effect January 1, 2022
Licensees of the Board of Registered Nursing with prescribing authority are subject to the e-prescribing requirements established by Assembly Bill (AB) 2789 (Wood, 2018). Beginning January 1, 2022, most prescriptions (including but not limited to prescriptions for controlled substances) issued by a licensed healthcare practitioner to a California pharmacy must be submitted electronically. For more information on this law and its requirements, please see the AB 2789 bulletin. Practitioners also can get answers to questions about complying with the law at Electronic Data Transmission Prescriptions (E-Prescriptions) – Frequently Asked Questions provided by the California State Board of Pharmacy.
- New CURES Fees Effective April 1, 2021
Effective April 1, 2021, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) fee will increase from $6 to $11 annually for a period of two years. The increase will be applied to licenses expiring after July 1, 2021, and is assessed at the time of license renewal on specified licensees of the Board of Registered Nursing that prescribe, order, administer, furnish, or dispense Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V controlled substances.
Most licensees will see a $22 CURES Fee due to the biennial renewal cycle. The fee covers the reasonable regulatory costs of the Department of Justice for operating and maintaining CURES, a critical element in the state’s effort to address the growing danger of opioid addiction stemming from prescription drug abuse.
For more information about CURES, visit: https://oag.ca.gov/cures.
- New Controlled Substance Prescription Form Requirements Begin January 1, 2021
Starting on January 1, 2021, the only controlled substance prescription forms that will remain valid and acceptable by California pharmacies will be those possessing a 12-character serial number and a corresponding barcode, compliant with the requirements introduced in a new state law, AB 149. Pharmacists will not be permitted to fill any new or refill prescriptions submitted on the old noncompliant form beginning January 1. The requirements do not affect prescriptions that are electronically transmitted from the prescriber to the pharmacy, or prescriptions for non-controlled substances such as antibiotics. If you have questions about whether your controlled substance paper prescription form is compliant, talk to your prescriber.
- New Prescribing and Reporting Rules for Controlled Substances Effective January 1, 2021
Starting January 1, 2021, new laws will impact licensees who prescribe and/or furnish controlled substances.
1. Updated Prescription Pad Security Requirements - starting January 1, 2021, California state law requires 15 security elements to appear on California Security Prescription Forms, the forms which replaced the triplicate prescription form. State law also requires California Security Prescription Forms to be produced by printers licensed by the California Department of Justice: California Security Prescription Printers Program. For more information, visit: Are Your Prescription Forms Compliant?
2. Revised Reporting Requirements for Controlled Substances – starting January 1, 2021, the dispensing of a controlled substance must be reported to the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) within one working day after the medication is released to the patient or the patient's representative. Previously, the deadline to report was seven days after dispensing. Further, this law requires reporting of Schedule V drugs, in addition to Schedules II, III, and IV. This requirement applies to pharmacists and prescribers who dispense controlled substances. For more information, please refer to the AB 528 Joint Statement.
- NEWS RELEASE: New Year Means New Requirements for Paper Prescription Forms
- AB 149 Joint Statement - New Requirements for Rx Forms
- Are Your Prescription Forms Compliant?
The Controlled substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), maintained by the Department of Justice (DOJ), tracks all Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances dispensed in California. CURES contains the following information: patient name, patient date of birth, patient address, prescriber name, prescriber DEA number, pharmacy name, pharmacy license number, date prescription was dispensed, prescription number, drug name, drug quantity and strength, and number of refills remaining.