Exceptions to the E-prescription rule, per Business & Professions Section 688

We have heard from various clients recently, after the passage of Business and Professions Code Section 688 (B&P 688), effective January 1, 2022, which requires most prescriptions to be issued and received electronically (“E-prescriptions”), that they are refusing to fill any prescriptions NOT issued electronically.

This is a misunderstanding of the new law, and is common.  B&P 688(i) states that pharmacists are not required to verify that a written, oral or faxed prescription falls under an exception to B&P 688.  Therefore, pharmacists MAY dispense medications from legally valid written, oral or faxed prescriptions under this new law, just as before it.  The main concept to remember is that pharmacists may fill a legally valid written, oral or faxed prescription if the only issue is that the script was not received electronically.  The main considerations for a pharmacist filling such a prescription is the impact on the patient (patient safety) and continuity of care.  

This change to California pharmacy law is a major change, but this common misunderstanding regarding traditional prescription formats does not have to prevent otherwise lawful and valid scripts from being filled.

If you are facing pharmacy law compliance issues or have questions about any aspect of this, or any other, pharmacy law or procedure, give our firm a call for a free consultation with our highly experienced licensing attorneys.  Adam B. Brown, our founder, has proudly represented California pharmacists for nearly 20 years and truly enjoys representing them statewide. 


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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.