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New Texas Law for Doctors and Pharmacists Who Are Prescribing Opioids to Patients

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Doctors and pharmacists in the Dallas and Fort Worth area will need to comply with a new law when prescribing and administering opioids and other pain medications starting on September 1, 2019. The goal of the law is to prevent doctor shopping, overprescribing, and other problems associated with the use of these powerful, addictive pain medications. If you are a physician or pharmacist, it is important to understand your obligations under the law so that you do not risk a complaint being filed against you with the Texas Medical Board (TMB) complaint or the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP).

Requirements Before Prescribing Pain Medications Under New Texas Law

The new law will require doctors and pharmacists to check the Texas Prescription Monitoring database before prescribing or administering opioids and other medications. Presently, they are just encouraged to check the database. Medicines covered under the law include:
Opioids
Benzodiazepines
Barbiturates
Carisoprodol
 
These requirements do not have to be followed when the prescriptions are for patients diagnosed with cancer or those in hospice.
 

What Steps Do You Need to Take to Follow This New Law?

If you are a doctor, you can begin implementing procedures to ensure that you follow these new requirements in Texas. These steps include:
 
Register with the PMP. You will need to register with the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). This will give you access to the Schedules II-V controlled substances your patient has been taking and enable you to receive emails concerning any suspicious behaviors.
Delegate checking the database. After you register with the PMP, you can delegate a staff member to check the database for your patients.
Document your compliance. Once the database has been checked for a patient, it is important to document this in his file to show that you have complied with this law.

Do you have other questions about your obligations before prescribing opioids? Are you facing a complaint as a physician or pharmacist? Attorney Walt Taylor can answer your questions and defend you in any disciplinary proceedings. Call our office or start an online chat to schedule your free consultation today.
Walter L. Taylor
Employment & Medical Peer Review Lawyer helping workers, doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists in Texas.
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