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House Bill 333 Makes Changes to Prescribing—What You Need to Know

Sarah Cronan Spurlock Attorney, Stites and Harbison

A new law, House Bill 333, took effect June 29, 2017, and will affect rules related to prescribing Schedule II controlled substances.

While HB 333 focused primarily on making it a felony in Kentucky to illegally sell or distribute fentanyl, carfentanil and related drugs, it also contains a provision that directs each state licensing board, including the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure (KBML), to draft regulations that limit prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances to three days when used to treat acute pain. The measure permits the licensing boards to grant several broad exceptions to the three-day restriction, including post-surgical acute pain, inpatient administration and any other reason the physician believes is medically necessary to deviate from the new rule.

The legislation will be explained during the KMA Meet the Mandates Friday, Aug. 25, and during the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Academy Saturday, Aug. 26.

Sarah Cronan Spurlock, an attorney with Stites and Harbison, will discuss HB 333’s general prescribing prohibition, as well as its exceptions and other circumstances when it will not apply. She’ll provide information about when limitations will impact prescribing practices, related administrative regulations and areas of the new requirements that may generate confusion for physicians and patients.

“This information will be important for physicians, especially those prescribing Schedule II controlled substances to treat pain,” Spurlock said.

The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure regulations mandated by the legislation are now in progress and will be released for public comment in the coming days. KMA will keep members up-to-date as the regulatory process moves forward.

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