DEA issues proposed rule on partial fill

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U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) applauded the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s proposed rule on partial fill prescriptions.

The DEA’s ruling plays an important role in implementing Stivers’ Reducing Unused Medication Act, which would allow patients, in consultation with their doctors, to request pharmacists only partially fill a prescription for opioids. Language in the bill was included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) passed in 2016.

“In the four years since CARA and the Reducing Unused Medications Act were signed into law, the nation has continued to suffer from a drug epidemic, one that has only worsened amidst the pandemic,” Stivers said. “The DEA’s action is long overdue, but nevertheless, I am grateful to see that it has finally taken this important step to keep unused opioids out of the medicine cabinets in homes across the country and out of the hands of those who would abuse them.”

According to the Federal Register, the DEA’s ruling would allow for partial filling of prescriptions for schedule II controlled substances under certain conditions.

“Specifically, the CARA amended 21 U.S.C. 829 by adding new subsection (f), which allows a pharmacist to partially fill a prescription for a schedule II controlled substance where requested by the prescribing practitioner or the patient,” the ruling said.

The ruling continued, stating that such partial filling will only be lawful under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) if the state does not prohibit the partial filling; the prescription is written and filled following the CSA, DEA regulations, and state law; and the total quantity dispensed in all partial fillings does not exceed the total quantity prescribed.

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