Staying on top of changing opioid regulations affecting dentistry

by | Jun 24, 2019 | Business Law

Last fall, California Governor Jerry Brown signed several bills into law aimed at combating the opioid addiction crisis. Many of these laws, which become effective at varying times over the next several years, will have a profound impact on dental practices all over the state. Below, we’ve outlined the most important aspects of these new regulations and organized them by the year they will take effect.

Effective Jan. 1, 2019:

SB 1109 Informed Consent for Minors

Already in effect for six months, SB 1109 requires practitioners to discuss the risks of opioid addiction and overdose with a minor’s parents before prescribing them. Before issuing a minor’s first opioid prescription, their dentist must inform their parents of:

  • The risks of addiction and overdose associated with their prescription
  • The increased risk of addiction for those with mental disorders or a history of other substance abuse
  • The danger of taking opioids with alcohol and other depressants

The California Dental Association provides more information about these requirements and aims to have scripts available to help practitioners with these conversations.

AB 1753 Controlled-Substance Prescription Pad Requirements

Beginning January 1 of this year, pads used for prescribing controlled substances must include serial numbers to aid in tracking prescriptions. Additionally, anyone prescribing substances from Schedules II through V must obtain state-approved, tamper-resistant forms. Beginning July 1, 2019, pharmacists will be prohibited from filling prescriptions based on forms that do not comply with these requirements.

Effective Jan. 1, 2022:

AB 2798 E-prescription requirements

Beginning in 2022, all health care practitioners who write prescriptions must have the ability to transmit patients’ prescriptions electronically.

Staying informed on changing standards for the profession is a must for any dentist in California. For help understanding how new regulations might affect your practice, consult with an attorney well-versed in dental law.