Unusual prescription practice

[This is about medicine but not about a medical problem. I don’t know if it goes in IMHO or not.]

I had a tooth extracted (well, OK, the remains of a tooth) a couple days ago and I received two prescriptions. One was for an antibiotic and the other for a pain medicine, oxycodone. The thing that was unusual was the way they were given. For the antibiotic, they insisted on sending an electronic script to my pharmacy; for the other they apparently either couldn’t or didn’t want do that and gave me a paper script.

So my question is, why do it this way? I know everyone’s getting concerned about opioids, so was that the reason they couldn’t do an electronic script for the pain medicine? That doesn’t really make much sense, but perhaps there’s some aspect I don’t understand. Or did they just want to make sure I got the painkiller script, so gave me a hard copy?

Narcotics are Sched. 2. A paper form is required, electronic is not allowed.

That info is a few years out of date. What they may not have done yet is have their e-prescribing software upgraded to the standards required.

Some states do allow electronic C2s, but once sent may not be transferred at all so it may be more convenient to give you a paper prescription so you can decide which pharmacy you would like it filled at. Also if the pharmacy doesn’t have it in stock, you would be able to take the script elsewhere.

I take a Schedule II drug and I get it via electronic prescription.

As of August, 2015, controlled substances may be e-scribed nationwide.

Looks like where we live is behind the times.

Is there a reason to think that paper is more secure? I mean, if they insist on seeing the original paper and won’t accept copies, that could prevent you from getting it filled at more than one pharmacy, whereas there’s no such thing as copies and originals of an electronic document.

I’ve never had a paper Rx that the pharmacist gave back.

N/W Arkansas is paper only so far as far as my Tier#2 scripts are concerned. And they really use the electronic gadgets like crazy in the local medical fields.

What state is this? In Iowa, controlled substances of any kind cannot be e-transmitted (except for things like hospice) and must be filled from a paper copy, signed by the practitioner.

You are at least the second person to make this claim, but apparently it isn’t true.

Do you have a cite to show otherwise?

You have to sign onto Medscape to view that article. Anyway, I have an Iowa pharmacist license, although I haven’t practiced in that state since 2002.

We go by whichever license is stricter, the nation’s or the state’s, and some areas even have local laws.

This was in Oregon.

(My own private Nogero – hint: spell Nogero backwards.)

Here is the relevant quote:


Here in FL they seem to still do paper scrips (on special high security paper only) for Sched 2. I’m not asserting that’s a matter of current law. But it’s certainly a matter of current local practice.

Just last month my main pharmacy refused to fill a script for Oxycodone. They claimed they were “out of stock” and wouldn’t be able to fill it for more than a week, but I suspect they were being hyper-vigilant about so-called “drug seekers” because they always harass me about any controlled substances I buy there, even stuff as benign as Robitussin. :smack: Perhaps they’ve been shaken down by the DEA or something, I dunno. In any case, I had to take my paper script to a different pharmacy who filled it promptly, no questions asked.

sbuuny8 was implying you could get multiple fills on one paper. I meant if it was accepted for filling, you didn’t get it back.

I do know there have been cases where the pharmacist kept the Rx even while refusing to fill it.

Actually I think **sbunny8 **was implying that a drug seeker would run off a batch of copies of his/her legit prescription paper before turning in the legit original to some first pharmacy. Then go shop his copies at other pharmacies.

The requirement to print Schedule scrips on fancy security paper would make that more difficult. But not impossible for a well-equipped drug seeker or drug reseller. And I’m not even sure the fancy paper is a Federal requirement. If not, some states may not even have that much security.

His overall point was that if it was all electronic there’d be essentially no chance for the patient to tamper with the process. Which IMO, is right as far as it goes.

But given the problems legit users have with pharmacies being enlisted in the War on Drugs against legitimate patient’s legitimate interests, I think I prefer having a real sheet of paper I can take down the street if somebody behind the pharmacy counter gets hostile.

This was what I was thinking and what confused me (I’m the OP). I hadn’t thought about people whose pharmacy refuses to fill their prescription, but I doubt that TPTB take those people into consideration for this stuff.

At any rate, it looks like e-scripts are approved for use for Sched-2 drugs, but there’s still a number of places that aren’t using them. Even though they can do e-scripts for other drugs.