California Controlled Substance Prescription Forms Serial Numbers Delay

California AB 149 has delayed the requirement for controlled substance prescription forms to have unique serialized numbers until January 1, 2020.  The law also requires new form requirements for controlled substance (CII through CIV) prescription forms, although a transition period was included within AB 149 to allow a smoother transition by physician and other prescribers to the new forms.

Prescribers should be aware that the following controlled substance prescription forms will be valid for filling, compounding or dispensing UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2021:

  1. Any prescription written on a prescription form that does not have a unique serialized number but was otherwise valid before January 1, 2019.
  2. Any prescription written on a form approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as of January 1, 2019.  This includes the 15-digit serialized number format approved by the DOJ.
  3. Any prescription written on a form that complies with the new requirements of AB 149, including a compliant serial number and barcode.

Further, AB 149 authorized the DOJ to extend this time period for an additional 6 months if an adequate supply of compliant prescription forms is not available.

We also remind our clients and potential clients to remember to always be certain that all prescription pads/forms are kept under lock and key or within the prescriber’s immediate control and view at all times.  Theft of prescriber prescription pads is a serious problem and is on the rise as the street value of opiods continues to skyrocket.  It is well worth the effort to carefully guard against theft of prescription pads for these and many other reasons.

If you suspect your pad may have been tampered with (in whole or in part), contact us today at 310-792-1315 to advise and protect you from a Medical Board of California investigation or even Accusation seeking to revoke and/or suspend your medical license.


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This blog is meant to provide information on current news and general information. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is any attorney-client relationship established by its posting on this website. If you are facing a situation that involves your professional license, consult with a licensed attorney.