New Guidance Letter from DEA
Permissible Changes to C-II Prescription Forms
In response to a request from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the DEA recently issued a clarification of its prior communications regarding what changes a pharmacist can make to a C-II prescription form. In its August 24, 2011 guidance letter, the DEA reminds pharmacists of their corresponding responsibility concerning such prescriptions, and further, encourges pharmacists to exercise sound professional judgment and their knowledge of federal and state laws and rules, when processing C-II prescription forms that do not contain required information. While there are no federal rules relative to pharmacists changing or adding missing information, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy has adopted a rule outlining what changes can be made to a C-II prescription form by a pharmcist, as well as the actions required in such circumstances. In particular, that rule can be found at LAC 46:LIII.2747.B.4, which is available at the Board's website at www.pharmacy.la.gov > Laws & Rules, or on page 227 of the January 2011 edition of the Louisiana Pharmacy Law Book.
The Board has been made aware of a previous private letterfrom the DEA dated November 2010 that has been interpreted by the recipient as well as other pharmacy auditing firms in such a manner as to disallow any changes to a C-II prescription form by a pharmacist. The auditing firms have been using that letter to attempt to classify such pharmacist actions as not permitted by DEA, and then to attempt to invalidate such prescriptions, and further, then recoup funds from pharmacies.
NABP consulted with the DEA and requested the clarification letter dated August 24, 2011. This most recent guidance document from the DEA recognizes the validity of state rules itemizing the data elements amenable to change by pharmacists. Again, we urge pharmacists to exercise sound professional judgment when faced with C-II prescription forms that do not contain all required information, and further, we encourage your review of the Louisiana rules permitting some changes to such prescription forms as well as the actions required in such circumstances.