Providing information to pharmacies and the public about South Carolina’s law regarding Naloxone.

For Naloxone Dispensers Naloxone User Survery General Information

FOR NALOXONE DISPENSERS

My pharmacy wants to participate in Naloxone distribution.

NALOXONE USER SURVEY

I recently used Naloxone.

GENERAL INFORMATION

I am looking for more information about Naloxone.

SOUTH CAROLINA’S LAW

On June 5, 2016, S.C. Code Ann. § 44-130-40 was amended to allow pharmacists to dispense Naloxone pursuant to a written joint protocol issued by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners and the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy without requiring a patient-specific written order or prescription.

You may download a list of participating pharmacies here:

Naloxone Participating Pharmacies (last updated on February 13, 2018).

EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED

On December 18, 2017, Governor McMaster issued two executive orders regarding the opioid epidemic. Executive Order 2017-42 declares the opioid epidemic a statewide public health emergency in South Carolina, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 1-3-420, and establishes the Opioid Emergency Response Team, of which LLR is a member. Executive Order 2017-43 requires the Department of Health and Human Services, the Cabinet agency responsible for administering Medicaid benefits in our state, to develop a policy restricting reimbursement to initial opioid prescriptions of no more than a five (5) day supply for acute and post-operative needs. Additionally, DHHS must develop a policy regarding opioid dosing thresholds and prepare recommendations for legislative changes to the Opioid Emergency Response Team. DHHS must develop and publish these policies on or before March 1, 2018.

The Opioid Emergency Response Team held its initial meeting on December 19, 2017. It was announced that PEBA, which provides insurance for public employees in South Carolina, will voluntarily adopt the five day limitation on initial opioid prescriptions for acute and post-operative needs by March 1, 2018. Although other health insurance providers may adopt this reimbursement policy in the future, only PEBA and DHHS administered programs will be impacted by this restriction as of the writing of this email. The intent of this restriction is to prevent the development of opioid addiction arising from an excessive prescription for acute and post-operative pain management needs.

These executive orders do NOT restrict the prescriptive authority of any provider authorized to prescribe controlled substances in this state and do NOT impact treat prescriptions for the treatment of chronic pain. Further, these executive orders do NOT prohibit a provider from prescribing a refill of the initial five-day supply; however, providers should carefully evaluate whether non-opioid alternatives may better serve the patient’s needs when considering a refill.

It is important to keep in mind that the five day restriction on initial opioid prescriptions for acute and post-operative needs is consistent with the recommendations contained in the Revised Joint Pain Management Guidelines published in August of 2017 by the State Boards of Dentistry, Medical Examiners, Nursing and Pharmacy, which adopted the CDC’s March 2016 Guidelines, as tailored to comport with South Carolina law. A copy of the Revised Joint Pain Management Guidelines is available at http://llr.sc.gov/POL/Nursing/index.asp?file=laws.htm

The Opioid Emergency Response Team will hold its next meeting on January 22, 2018. Additional updates will be provided as this interdisciplinary team advances its efforts to combat this public health emergency.

Thank you for all that you are doing to rebuff the opioid epidemic in your respective profession. Please direct any questions that you may have to the administrative staff of the appropriate licensing board. Contact information for each board is available on LLR’s website at http://www.llr.sc.gov.