On June 29, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act of 2017 into law. Aimed at curtailing the opioid abuse epidemic in the state, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) supported this legislation. Read the law and a comprehensive history of its passage on the NCMS 2017 Legislative Blog.
This new legislation may impact how you prescribe opioids. The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) sent a letter to all licensees the day after the STOP Act became law outlining its provisions, which include:

  • Limits on the number of days of opioids that may lawfully be prescribed upon initial consultation to patients with acute pain (no more than a five day supply) and following surgeries (no more than a seven day supply)
  • A requirement that prescribers review the patient’s 12-month history with the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (NCCSRS), before issuing an initial prescription for a Schedule II or Schedule III opioid or narcotic, and subsequent reviews every three months as long as the patient continues on the drug. NCMB offers a streamlined NCCSRS registration process on its website. Use this visual guide to find it
  • Faster reporting of prescriptions to NCCSRS by pharmacies that dispense controlled substances (within one day versus the former requirement of three days), as well as financial penalties for pharmacies that fail to correct missing or incomplete information.

Read all the NCMB’s communications about this new law.