Kentucky News: Changes to Controlled Substance Prescriptions

Topics: Controlled substances and Prescriptions

Published in the September 2008 Kentucky Board of Pharmacy Newsletter

KRS 217.216, 218A.180(4), and 902 KAR 55:105 require the following items on a written prescription for a controlled substance:

  • Date of issue
  • Quantity check-off boxes marked
  • Patient’s name
  • Directions for use
  • Patient’s address
  • Refill instructions (Schedule III-V)
  • Drug name
  • Practitioner’s name printed
  • Drug strength
  • Practitioner’s telephone number
  • Dosage form
  • Practitioner’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number
  • Quantity (numeric)
  • Practitioner’s signature

These laws are administered and enforced by the Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. It is the interpretation of this office that a pharmacist may take the following action with respect for a written prescription for a controlled substance.

1. After consulting with the prescribing practitioner, a pharmacist may add or modify the following items:

  • Date of issue – May be added, but not changed
  • Drug strength
  • Quantity – May be modified only in conjunction with a change of strength, and the total quantity dispensed must not exceed the total dosage authorized
  • Quantity check-off box marked
  • Directions for use
  • Refill instructions (Schedule III-V)
  • Practitioner’s name, printed (not signature)

All consultation must be documented.

2. The following items may be added or modified without consulting the practitioner if the information can be obtained from other, reliable sources:

  • Patient’s address
  • Dosage form
  • Practitioner’s address, printed
  • Practitioner’s telephone number
  • Practitioner’s DEA number

A pharmacist may never change or add the patient’s name, the name of the controlled substance (except generic substitution permitted by state law), or the signature of the practitioner.

Both state and federal law still require professional judgment by the pharmacist on every prescription filled. Caution is advised whenever a change or addition is made to any prescription.