Oral Order

Prescriptions for schedule III, IV, and V medications may be telephoned to a pharmacy by a physician or by trusted staff in the same manner as a prescription for a noncontrolled substance, although it is in the physician's best interest to keep his or her DEA number as private as reasonably possible (see Preventing Diversion, below). Schedule II prescriptions may be telephoned to a pharmacy only in emergency situations. To be an emergency: (1) immediate administration is necessary; (2) no appropriate alternative treatment is available; and (3) it is not reasonably possible for the physician to provide a written prescription prior to the dispensing.

For an emergency prescription, the quantity must be limited to the amount adequate to treat the patient during the emergency period, and the physician must have a written prescription delivered to the pharmacy for that emergency within 72 hours. If mailed, the prescription must be postmarked within 72 hours. The pharmacist must notify the DEA if this prescription is not received.

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