South Florida Hospital News
Sunday July 22, 2018
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July 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 1

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Physicians and Patients be Aware: Controlled Substance Legislation Takes Effect July 1st

The Dade County Medical Association (DCMA) President Dr. Barbara Montford and her Board of Directors, wants to make sure that all our members, physicians and your patients are prepared for implementation of HB 21 - Controlled Substances. The legislation goes into effect on July 1st.  While the prescription limitations in the bill are targeted to Schedule II opioids for the treatment of acute pain, there are other requirements in the bill that will impact most physicians and patients in Florida. This legislation has ramifications on all controlled substances, not just opioids.
 
Dr. Montford emphasizes the importance of this new law. Here are the specific measures that will impact our members and patients the most:
1. As of July 1, any health care practitioner that prescribes any scheduled drug must check the patient’s drug history in Florida's Prescription Drug Monitoring Database (E-FORCSE) prior to writing that script. This mandate is not limited to opioids. It is for all scheduled drugs. The only exemptions are for children under the age of 16 and for Schedule V non-opioids.
 
2. Every Health Care Practitioner that has a DEA license to prescribe controlled
substances must take an approved 2-hour CME course on Controlled Substances by January 31, 2019. 
 
3. As of July 1, all prescriptions for Schedule II opioids to treat “Acute Pain” are limited to a 3-day supply.  Physicians can prescribe up to a 7-day supply if certain conditions are met.
 
4. Pharmacists are required to check valid ID for any patient or caregiver filling a prescription for an opioid.  Without valid ID the pharmacists should be verifying legitimacy with the prescribing practitioner.
 
On the other hand, Mr. Cobbe, DCMA Executive Director commented on the available resources that the DCMA has for its members and the patients. The DCMA recorded a webinar and has provided a number of resources that are available on our website:  www.miamimed.com. Moreover, Fraser Cobbe encourage people to go to the Department of Health website for more information. You should also reference the Florida Department of Health website for more information. This is the definitive source for regulation of this legislation: http://www.flhealthsource.gov/FloridaTakeControl/ 
 
The DCMA has also provided instructions for patients that can also be downloaded from our website.  The instructions are provided in both English and Spanish.  http://www.miamimed.com/www_dcma/
 
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