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Maine to Require Providers Use E-Prescribing and Check Prescription Monitoring Data for Opioids, Benzodiazepine; Law Includes New Limits for Opioid Prescribing.


Maine to Require Providers Use E-Prescribing and Check Prescription Monitoring Data for Opioids, Benzodiazepine; Law Includes New Limits for Opioid Prescribing.

Prescribers and dispensers in Maine will be required to check prescription monitoring information when prescribing and dispensing a benzodiazepine or an opioid medication under “An Act To Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program” signed into law by Governor Paul LePage on April 19, 2016.

Under the law, a person who violates this rule commits a civil violation for which a $250 fine per incident may be adjudged.

Specifically, a dispenser must check prescription monitoring information prior to dispensing a benzodiazepine or an opioid medication to a person under any of the following circumstances:

a. the person is not a resident of Maine;
b. the prescription is from a prescriber with an address outside of Maine;
c. the person is paying cash when the person has prescription insurance on file; or
d. the person has not had a prescription for a benzodiazepine or an opioid medication in the previous 12-month period according to the pharmacy prescription record.
 
Further, the law (SP 671-LD 1646) establishes opioid medication prescribing limits. Prescribers may not prescribe to a patient any combination of opioid medication in an aggregate amount in excess of 100 morphine milligram equivalents of opioid medication per day.

In addition, prescribers may not prescribe within a seven-day period more than a seven-day supply of an opioid medication to a patient under treatment for acute pain, and prescribers may not prescribe within a 30-day period more than a 30-day supply of an opioid medication to a patient under treatment for chronic pain.

Prescribers will also need to complete three hours of continuing education every two years on the prescription of opioid medication as a condition of prescribing opioid medication. The law also requires all opioid medication to be prescribed electronically by July 1, 2017. Certain sections of the law are effective January 1, 2017.