New DEA Rule Allows Transfer of Electronic Prescriptions for Sch. II-V Between Pharmacies for Initial Filing

It’s now easier to electronically transfer a schedule II-V controlled substance Rx from one pharmacy to another. Pharmacists can now transfer these meds when a pharmacy cannot fill the Rx for a patient.

On July 27, 2023, DEA’s Final Rule "Final Rule: Transfer of Electronic Prescriptions for Schedules II-V Controlled Substances Between Pharmacies for Initial Filling (PDF) (July 27, 2023)” was published in the Federal Register. The rule becomes effective August 28, 2023.

On March 31, 2010, DEA's Interim Final Rule with Request for Comment titled "Interim Final Rule with Request for Comment: Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (PDF) (March 31, 2010)" [Docket No. DEA-218, RIN 1117-AA61] was published in the Federal Register. The rule became effective June 1, 2010.

The rule revises DEA regulations to provide practitioners with the option of writing prescriptions for controlled substances electronically. The regulations also permit pharmacies to receive, dispense, and archive these electronic prescriptions. These regulations are an addition to, not a replacement of, the existing rules. The regulations provide pharmacies, hospitals, and practitioners with the ability to use modern technology for controlled substance prescriptions while maintaining the closed system of controls on controlled substances.

**NOTE: a pharmacy may only transfer a scheduled substance prescription to another pharmacy if they both have the new SCRIPT Standard Version 2017071. Some pharmacies may need to coordinate with their pharmacy technology vendors to have certain SCRIPT transactions, including the transaction used to transfer prescriptions between pharmacies, incorporated into their pharmacy applications.**