Physicians and Patients be Aware: Controlled Substance Legislation Takes Effect July 1

Jun 27, 2018 at 10:48 am by Staff


Fraser Cobbe

Orange County Medical Society

Seminole County Medical Society

The OCMS and SCMA leadership wants to make sure that all of our members and your patients are prepared for implementation of HB 21 - Controlled Substances. The legislation goes into effect on July 1st. While the prescription limitations in the bill are targeted to Schedule II opioids for the treatment of acute pain, there are other requirements in the bill that will impact most physicians and patients in Florida. This legislation has ramifications on all controlled substances, not just opioids.

Here are the specific measures that will impact our members and patients the most:

  1. As of July 1, any health care practitioner that prescribes any scheduled drug must check the patient's drug history in Florida's Prescription Drug Monitoring Database (E-FORCSE) prior to writing that script. This mandate is not limited to opioids. It is for all scheduled drugs. The only exemptions are for children under the age of 16 and for Schedule V non-opioids.
  2. Every Health Care Practitioner that has a DEA license to prescribe controlled substances must take an approved 2-hour CME course on Controlled Substances by January 31, 2019.
  3. As of July 1, all prescriptions for Schedule II opioids to treat "Acute Pain" are limited to a 3-day supply. Physicians can prescribe up to a 7-day supply if certain conditions are met.
  4. Pharmacists are required to check valid ID for any patient or caregiver filling a prescription for an opioid. Without valid ID the pharmacists should be verifying legitimacy with the prescribing practitioner.

The OCMS recorded a webinar and has provided a number of resources that are available on our website:

You should also reference the Florida Department of Health website for more information. This is the definitive source for regulation of this legislation:

On July 13th the OCMS & SCMS are hosting a Legal Symposium that will include the 2-hour state mandated controlled substance prescribing course. Click here to get more information and to register. Space is limited.

Our organization hopes that the implementation of these new laws result in limited interruption for patients seeking legitimate pain relief. Patients and physicians are urged to be pro-active and make sure you are aware of the impact of this legislation.