PA 09-22—sHB 6301

General Law Committee

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE PRACTICE OF PHARMACY AND ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTIONS

SUMMARY: This act changes state requirements relating to how pharmacies may receive and store prescriptions for controlled substances. Under current state and federal law, prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances may not be transmitted or recorded electronically.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009

COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS

The act requires all prescriptions to comply fully with the federal Controlled Substances Act instead of Part 306, U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs—Federal Register Volume 36, No. 80 et seq. It allows pharmacies to make an immediate conversion to an electronic system should proposed federal regulations be accepted. Current state law, not changed by the act, allows records to be created and maintained electronically, but the written drug record prevails where a conflict exists as to whether to maintain a written or electronic record (CGS 21a-244a).

DEFINITIONS

The act changes the definition of (1) “prescription,” which includes written or oral orders for any controlled substance to a pharmacist for a patient, to also include electronic orders and (2) “drug record” to include records maintained pursuant to the Pharmacy Practice Act; general provisions governing food and drugs; the Connecticut Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; and the provisions governing dependency-producing drugs and controlled substance registration.

PRESCRIPTION RECORDS

The act requires that when pharmacies receive prescriptions, excluding those for controlled drugs, pharmacists or pharmacy interns must record them on a form or in an electronic record. Just as under current law, the prescription must be recorded by the end of the business day in which it is received. This act does not change the information that must be recorded or included with the prescription.

When an institutional pharmacy in a hospital dispenses a drug or device for an outpatient or employee, it must create certain specified records. The act allows the records to be kept in an “electronic file” and requires the records to include the pharmacist's name instead of initials. Under the act, prescription refills may be recorded on the original prescription, as under existing law, or in an electronic system. This does not apply to records made in accordance with Department of Consumer Protection pharmacy regulations.

The act adds electronic recording to the accepted manner in which prescriptions for controlled drugs may be received. It also limits the requirement that prescriptions for Schedule II substances be signed at the time of issuance only to written prescriptions.

By law, a prescribing practitioner may issue an oral or electronically transmitted order and, with some exceptions, the order must be promptly written on a prescription blank or hardcopy printout. The act allows such orders to be created as an electronic record for the pharmacist.

By law, pharmacies must file separately filled prescriptions for controlled substances. The act also allows such prescriptions to be kept in an electronic file and amends the law to require only written controlled substance prescriptions to be filed chronologically.

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