New Law Effects Physician Prescribing for Family Members

CSMS advocated for ethical prescribing guidelines to be met.

Public Act 18-166 became effective on July 1, 2018. Section 2 of this act places into law language limiting how and when any prescriber can prescribe for immediate family members. CSMS worked with legislators, other professions with prescribing abilities, the HAVEN program, the administration, and the Department of Consumer Protection to ensure that language was consistent with AMA guidelines for ethical prescribing.

Under the new law, prescribing practitioners generally may not prescribe, dispense, or administer schedule II to IV controlled substances to themselves or immediate family members. An “immediate family member” is a spouse; parent; child; sibling; parent-in-law; son- or daughter-in-law; brother- or sister-in-law; step-parent, -child, or -sibling; or other relative residing with the prescriber. Animals living with the prescriber are not considered immediate family members.

In an emergency, the bill allows prescribers to prescribe, dispense, or administer up to a 72-hour supply of a schedule II to IV controlled substance to themselves or immediate family members, but only if there is no other qualified prescriber available. If prescribing, dispensing, or administering to a family member, the prescriber must (1) perform an assessment for the patient's care and treatment; (2) medically evaluate the patient's need for the controlled substance; and (3) document the emergency, assessment, and patient's need in the normal course of his or her business.

Read the bill in its entirety here.