Nevada Is Now Tracking Opioid Prescriptions. Here’s What it Means

Written by: Taylor McClain

The State Will Require Prescriptions for Controlled Substances to Be Sent Electronically

In an effort to reduce opioid-related drug overdoses and cut down on the number of unlawful prescriptions, Nevada will now require that prescriptions for controlled substances be sent electronically. The law, which went into effect, January 1, 2021, will enable the state to better track and audit potentially deadly opioid prescriptions.

The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata represents individuals accused of a crime in Las Vegas. Attorney Ogata has helped thousands of clients defend against criminal charges, always working to get their cases reduced or dismissed. 

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Nevada Assembly Bill 310 – What You Need to Know

In 2019 the Nevada Legislature passed a new law requiring that prescriptions for controlled substances be given to a pharmacy via electronic transmission. Going into effect at the beginning of this year, Assembly Bill 310 allows for statewide tracking of opioid prescriptions. 

Lawmakers also hope that the new mandate will reduce the number of unlawful or fraudulent prescriptions that occur each year. The bill has been praised by several organizations, including the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). A study commissioned by NACDS found that 63 percent of registered voters in Nevada agreed with e-prescription requirements to reduce fraud and abuse.

Limited Exceptions to Electronic Submission Requirements

Under the new law, there are few exceptions to the e-prescription mandate. The goal is for the state to have an in-depth electronic database referred to as a PDMP (Prescription drug monitoring program).

The limited exceptions to the electronic transmission requirements for controlled substance prescriptions include:

  • Prescriptions issued by a veterinarian,
  • Under certain situations where an e-prescription is not “practical or feasible,”
  • Where it is prohibited by federal law,
  • Where a prescription is not issued to a specific person, and
  • In accordance with a waiver granted by the State Board of Pharmacy.

Nevada Joins Growing List of States Tracking Opioid Prescriptions

Nevada was not the only state to enact e-prescription legislation. More than half of the U.S. will now require electronic prescriptions for opioids. Governors from Texas, Florida, and Delaware were some of the latest to sign similar legislation.

The federal government also passed legislation requiring the use of electronic prescribing for controlled substances under Medicare Part D. The law entitled the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act went into effect on January 1, 2021.

What are PDMPs?

As noted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are electronic databases that track prescriptions for controlled substances. PDMPs are most often used to track and audit opioid prescriptions that are filled in the state.

Legislators hope that the use of PDMPs will:

  • Make it easier to track down illicit prescriptions for controlled substances.
  • Reduce fraud associated with written prescriptions.
  • Make it more difficult for a person to alter a prescription.
  • Give real-time information about a person’s prescription history.
  • Help reduce drug abuse.
  • Decrease the number of opioid-related drug overdoses 

How PDMPs Work

For Nevada residents, a prescription for a controlled substance will now be submitted electronically to a pharmacy by a doctor or healthcare provider. Under most circumstances, a doctor or physician will no longer be able to physically write a prescription.

The electronic prescription information can then be shared with state insurance programs, health care licensure boards, state health departments, and law enforcement. PDMPs can make it easier to get prescriptions filled quickly and enable regulatory agencies to track and report controlled substance use.

The Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program (NV PMP)

The Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program (NV PMP) is the state’s electronic database for controlled substance prescriptions. It tracks controlled substance prescriptions that have been dispensed in the state. The database provides prescribers with information about a patient’s controlled substance prescription history.

The NV PMP can be accessed by medical practitioners but also by law enforcement agencies that investigate criminal drug offenses. The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy runs it in conjunction with Appriss Health.

Disciplinary Action for Practitioners

Assembly Bill 310 authorizes disciplinary action or denying licensure against practitioners who fail to comply with the requirements. Disciplinary actions include the ability for the Board to serve a cease and desist order, issue a citation, and assess administrative fines not to exceed $5,000. 

While practitioners may face administrative and professional, individuals who are found in illegal possession of a controlled substance can face felony charges. The new law makes it easier for the state to track opioid prescriptions and may enable them to further crackdown on the issuance of these drugs.

Fighting Drug Charges in Nevada

Drug charges are prosecuted heavily in the State of Nevada. It is always recommended that you hire an experienced attorney if you are charged with possession or distribution. It is important to know your rights if you are accused of a drug crime.

Attorney Garrett T. Ogata is a trained Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He will help you fight the charges against you. Possession of a controlled substance is a serious offense, but Attorney Ogata can help build a strategic defense in your case.

Contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata Today

If you are facing drug charges in Nevada, contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata for a free consultation. Unlike other law firms, you will always work with an experienced attorney who will explain the charges and provide you with the superior representation you need to get a favorable outcome in your case.

With drug charges, it is essential to act fast. The opioid epidemic has resulted in a slew of legislation that may affect you and your family. To learn more about the new laws that went into effect in 2021, contact our office today.

 Call or text Attorney Ogata today to get started.

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