New Law Allows Partial Fills of Schedule II Prescriptions


Beginning July 1, 2018, pharmacists will be able to dispense Schedule II controlled substances as partial fills if requested to do so by the prescriber or the patient.

Schedule II substances have a high potential for abuse. Examples include narcotics such as hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®), morphine, opium, codeine and hydrocodone; stimulants such as amphetamine (Dexedrine® and Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®);and other substances such as amobarbital, glutethimide, and pentobarbital.

The law authorizing this change is AB 1048 (Arambula, Chapter 615). The bill requires the pharmacy to retain the original prescription, with a notationof how much of the prescription has been filled, the date and amount of each partial fill, and the initials of the pharmacist dispensing each partial fill, until the prescription has been fully dispensed.

The bill will remove the requirement that pain be assessed at the same time as vital signs. The bill will add Section 4052.10 to the Business and Professions Code.

(Source: Medical Board of California Spring 2018)