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New Year, New Opioid Rules: North Carolina STOP Act Goes Into Effect Jan. 1

December 28, 2017

On January 1, 2018, provisions of the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act take effect.

The STOP Act has several provisions of which carriers should be aware. First, prescribers are limited to prescribing a five-day supply of opioids for acute injuries. Second, they are subject to prescribing a seven-day supply of opioids following a surgical procedure. After the initial supply, prescribers can use their discretion to prescribe further opioids as they deem necessary. The act does not establish a supply limit for established chronic pain patients.

Also, prescribers are now required to use the North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (NCCSRS), the database that documents all opioid prescriptions dispensed in North Carolina pharmacies. Prescribers must now review the patient’s 12-month history before prescribing opioids and must conduct subsequent reviews every three months.

Going forward, carriers must be aware of the new acute and post-surgical opioid prescription limits and exercise caution to avoid authorizing any opioid prescription that falls outside of the limits stated above.

If you have questions about the impact of this development, please contact: