University HealthCare Alliance

January 31, 2019

Controlled Substances Security Forms Update

Effective January 1, 2019, a new California law – AB 1753 (Low) – requires prescription forms for controlled substances to be printed with uniquely serialized numbers. Unfortunately, not all prescribers have been able to obtain access to the new security prescription forms required by the new law. But because the law does not include a grandfathering or transition period, some pharmacists have been caught in a difficult position having to decide between providing needed medication to patients versus compliance with the law.

Yesterday, the Legislature amended AB 149 to include provisions allowing for a staggered implementation of the new serialized number requirement. Under AB 149, serialized numbers on security forms for controlled substances would take effect no later than January 1, 2020. In addition, the measure would authorize dispensers to fill prescriptions written on otherwise valid forms that do not meet the new serialized number requirement until January 1, 2021.

The board encourages pharmacists to read the text of AB 149, which is available by clicking here

The board recognizes and appreciates all of the efforts by pharmacists to take care of their patients during this transition period.