Hydrocone Combinations: How Pharmacists Should Prepare for their Reclassification
The way prescriptions for hydrocone combination products (HCPs) are handled is about to change as a new rule issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will take effect on Oct. 6.
With the issuance of this final rule, the Administrator of the DEA rescheduled HCPs from schedule III to schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. In doing so, it imposes the regulatory controls and administrative, civil and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule II controlled substances on individuals who handle or propose to handle HCPs, according to the Office of the Federal Register.
Several executives were concerned that because of the rescheduling, practitioners will be less likely to prescribe HCPs. The DEA responded to said concern, however, by announcing that “controlling HCPs as schedule II controlled substances should not hinder legitimate access to the medicine.”
The DEA clarified key points impacting implementation that are of interest to health care providers and patients.
1. Refills are no longer allowed for prescriptions that are written beginning Oct. 6.
Hard copy or electronic prescriptions will only be able to be issued once this day comes. eScripts can only be used if state law permits and the prescriber is certified to ePrescribe Schedule II substances, the American Medical Association notes. Pharmacies must also be certified to accept eScripts for controlled substances.
2. Prescriptions issued before Oct. 6 won’t necessarily qualify for refills.
Although the DEA rule allows for refills issued before Oct. 6 until April 8, 2015, several states have published notices that they will treat HCP prescriptions the same way they would after the rule’s implementation date, regardless if it was issued prior. Some pharmacy quality and safety processes may also not allow refills for prescriptions issued before Oct. 6, the AMA stated, adding that some health insurers may not pay for said refills.
3. Prescriptions can’t be called in or faxed.
The new rule prohibits pharmacies from filling prescriptions delivered over the phone or via fax, so written scripts will need to be issued. Emergency treatment is the only exception to this rule, which would allow physicians to call in a limited quantity of the medication to cover the emergency period only.
Pharmacies, however, are required to report prescribers to the DEA if they make such a request and do not give the pharmacy a written prescription within 7 days.
4. Allied health professionals might not be able to write prescriptions for HCPs after Oct. 6.
Check your state’s restrictions around schedule II substances to confirm whether any non-physicians members of your team who currently have prescriptive authority will be able to continue issuing prescriptions for HCPs.
5. Multiple prescriptions may be issued at one time under certain circumstances.
The rescheduling of HCPs allows a patient to receive prescriptions that would total a 90-day supply, if the prescriber has determined that it is appropriate to see the patient only once every 90 days. Written instructions that specify the earliest date a prescription may be filled must be included.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”