Magazine article Drug Topics

Requirements for Prescription Transfers

Magazine article Drug Topics

Requirements for Prescription Transfers

Article excerpt

Managed care generally, and third-party prescription program contracts specifically, often necessitate transfer of patient Rxs from one pharmacy to another. Thus, understanding laws governing "prescription copies" becomes very important.

First, whether an Rx copy is permitted, and, if so, what requirements must be fulfilled in issuing and receiving it, are initially a matter of state law. Second, if a controlled substance in Schedule Ill, IV, or V is prescribed (and state law allows copies of Rxs for controlled substances), then U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations apply. The applicable DEA regulation is found at 21 CFR 1306.26.

As a beginning point in reviewing section 1306.26, the importance of state law on the issue of Rx transfers is revealed in paragraph (d) of the regulation, which provides:

(d) The procedure allowing the transfer of prescription information for refill purposes is permissible only if allowable under existing state or other applicable law.

The procedure referred to above is outlined in the preceding text of the regulation and is provided in full below. Key points for the pharmacist to remember are emphasized in boldface type.

(a) The transfer of original prescription information for a controlled substance listed in Schedule III, IV, or V for the purpose of refill dispensing is permissible between pharmacies on a one-time basis subject to the following requirements:

(1) The transfer is communicated directly between two licensed pharmacists, and the transferring pharmacist records the following information: (i) Write the word "VOID" on the face of the invalidated prescription.

(ii) Record on the reverse of the invalidated prescription the name, address, and DEA registration number of the pharmacy to which it was transferred and the name of the pharmacist receiving the prescription information.

(iii) Record the date of the transfer and the name of the pharmacist transferring the information.

(b) The pharmacist receiving the transferred prescription information shall reduce to writing the following:

(1) Write the word "transfer" on the face of the transferred prescription.

(2) Provide all information required to be on a prescription pursuant to 21 CFR 1306.05 and include:

(i) Date of issuance of original prescription; (ii) Original number of refills authorized on original prescription; (iii) Date of original dispensing;

(iv) Number of valid refills remaining and date of last refill;

(v) Pharmacy's name, address, DEA registration number, and original prescription number from which the prescription information was transferred;

(vi) Name of the transferor pharmacist (3) Both the original and transferred prescription must be maintained for a period of two years from the date of last refill. …

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