Pharmacists: Partial Filling of Prescriptions

Senate Bill 1 was introduced by seven Senators the first day of the 2018 Legislature permitting pharmacists to partially fill a Schedule II prescription if the prescribing practitioner requests less than a full quantity.   Revising current law (30-5-27) the proposal reads:  “The partial filling of a prescription is permissible for any prescription if the pharmacist is unable to supply, or the patient, or the prescribing individual practitioner requests less than the full quantity called for in a written, electronic, or oral prescription, provided the pharmacist makes a notation of the quantity supplied on either the written prescription or in the electronic record.”

The partial filling of a prescription for a controlled substance listed in Schedule II is permissible if:

(1) The prescription is written and filled in accordance with this article (30-5-27);

(2) The partial filling is requested by the patient or the prescribing individual practitioner that wrote the prescription; and

(3) The total quantity dispensed in all partial fillings does not exceed the total quantity prescribed.

The proposal permits the remaining portion of any prescription partially filled to be filled within 30 days of first partial fill.

In emergency situations, the remaining portions of a partially filled prescription for a controlled substance in Schedule II may be filled, but shall be filled no later than 72 hours after the prescription is issued.  The term “emergency situation” means those situations in which the prescribing practitioner determines:

(1) That immediate administration of the controlled substance is necessary for proper treatment of the intended ultimate user;

(2) That no appropriate alternative treatment is available, including administration of a drug which is not a controlled substance listed in Schedule II; and

(3) That it is not reasonably possible for the prescribing practitioner to provide a written prescription to be presented to the person dispensing the substance prior to the dispensing.