Both the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Board of Registration in Pharmacy (BRP) presented oral testimony during one of several public hearings held throughout 1996. Key provisions of the bill include the following:
- Amends MGL Chapter 94C, s. 1 - Revises the definition of a written prescription to permit electronic transmission** ;
- Amends MGL Chapter 94C, s. 18 - Permits pharmacists to fill a Schedule II prescription originating from any state;
- Amends MGL Chapter 94C, s. 20(c) - Eliminates the requirement for a written follow-up Schedule VI prescription by physicians when calling in an oral prescription;
- Amends MGL Chapter 94C, s. 23(a) - Permits a Schedule II prescription to be valid for 30 days;
- Amends MGL Chapter 94C, s. 23(d) - Permits pharmacists to fill a prescription for Schedule II and III implantable infusion pumps for up to a 90 day supply;
- Replaces MGL Chapter 94C, s. 23(g) with language that requires a prescription to be written in ink, indelible pencil or by other means, or transmitted electronically2 to a pharmacist; and
- Amends MGL Chapter 94C, s. 24 - Eliminates language that required physicians to report the names of patients they are treating for substance abuse to the Department.
In addition to amending specific sections of M.G.L. Chapter 94C, the Commission recommended that the DPH, BRP and other professional boards of registration coordinate efforts to improve education on pain management for various health care professions and to reduce barriers to adequate pain treatment of patients.
The bill became effective July 31. For more information, call the Drug Control Program at (617) 983-6700.
* Although commonly referred to as the "Pain Bill", the amendments are not limited to pain medications and affect prescribing and dispensing of all drugs in all schedules.
** Currently includes facsimile of a written prescription and computerized order-entry systems.
This information is provided by the Drug Control Program within the Department of Public Health.