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January 30, 2020

HHS Final Rule Requires Partial Fill Designation of Certain Drugs

On January 24, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule requiring health care providers and payers to include the number of potentially addictive pills dispensed when filling a prescription for a controlled substance. The Controlled Substances Act limits a pharmacist’s ability to partially fill a medication to instances where a lesser amount is in stock, it is for a patient in a long-term care facility, or the patient has a terminal illness. The current reporting system, however, does not allow providers to note when only a partial fill is provided to a patient. The new rule, effective March 24, requires reporting of the actual amount of pills delivered. According to HHS, this new rule will help prevent impermissible refills of Schedule II drugs in a way that will not increase the regulatory burden on dispensers while providing an enhanced understanding of prescribing trends. Compliance with the rule will be required by September 21.