The rules regarding Schedule II narcotics have been the same for many years. Until recently, it was the one class of drugs that had unflinching parameters. However, there has been one significant change to schedule II drugs that has impacted the way patients, doctors, and pharmacies have handled them. They have changed the expiration date of the prescription.
Schedule II narcotics are the highest grade of prescription narcotics available. The drugs in this class include Fentanyl, morphine sulfate, Adderall, and Kadian. They consist mostly of high grade pain killers. These drugs get their classification not only because of their potency, but of their highly addictive properties. For this reason, they have instituted a strict number of rules concerning these medications and until recently they were left unchanged.
However, the law has increased the time a Schedule II prescription is valid for. For instance, a non-controlled drug (enalapril, amoxicillin, celebrex, etc) are valid for a year from the date they are written. For Schedule III – V narcotics, a prescription is valid for six months from the original date. Up until recently the Schedule II narcotic is valid for seven days, but the law has changed it to 90 days from the original date.
This has proved to be helpful to doctors as well as patients. The difficulty of making it to a doctors office every thirty days was challenging enough, but coupled with the challenge of getting it to a pharmacy and getting insurance to approve it within seven days was even more difficult.
Now the task relies on the pharmacy. Like lawyers must understand divorce in NY, pharmacies must be keeping tabs on patients looking to get early refills, or dealing with insurances that need prior approval. While the new law may create complications, it will prove beneficial to the patients.