2018 Controlled Substance Bill

In March 2018, The Controlled Substance Bill, Chapter 2018-13, Laws of Florida, passed as Florida’s response to opioid abuse; it pertains to changes regarding controlled substances and the prescribing and dispensing of an opioid drug for acute pain. New regulatory policy HB 21 will become effective on July 1, 2018, under which any prescribing practitioner will have limitations and stricter guidelines when writing a prescription for a controlled substance.

Florida Cancer Specialists is committed to and proactively working toward making this transition as smooth as possible. We are expected to comply with all state and federal regulations and appreciate your understanding. Our healthcare professionals are available to answer any questions you may have about this and any impact this will have on your controlled substance prescriptions.

Insurance drug plans, like state legislatures, are establishing additional requirements in order to cover certain controlled substances; this allows drug plans to contribute to the reduction of abuse of controlled substances. Contact your insurance drug plan for any additional requirements.

Please feel free to contact the Florida Department of Health with any questions related to the bill at TakeControl@FLHealth.gov or visit their webpage at FLHealthSource.gov/FloridaTakeControl

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is my prescription only for 3 days (or 7 days)?

    Under the law (Chapter 2018-13, Laws of Florida), most opioid prescriptions for acute pain have been limited to a three-day supply. Under special circumstances identi ed by your practitioner, a prescription can be increased to a seven-day supply.

    The three to seven-day limit does not apply to pain related to: cancer, terminal condition, palliative care to provide relief of symptoms related to an incurable, progressive illness or injury, or a traumatic injury with an injury severity score of nine or greater.

  2. Why did my doctor write non-acute on my prescription?

    The availability of an opioid drug for more than three or seven days is determined by whether your condition is one that is considered non-acute pain. Generally, pain associated with cancer is considered to be “non-acute.”

  3. What is a prescribing practitioner?

    Allopathic physicians, osteopathic physicians, dentists, podiatrists, certi ed optometrists, APRNs, and PAs are prescribing practitioners.

  4. Does the law say that I can’t continue to get medication that I take for a chronic or terminal painful condition?

    The standards for prescribing medication for chronic non-malignant pain or cancer have not changed.

If you have any issues getting your controlled substance prescription lled at a pharmacy, please contact the office right away.