69.50.311  <<  69.50.312 >>   69.50.315

Electronic communication of prescription informationExceptionsWaiverPenaltyCommission may adopt rules.

(1) Information concerning a prescription for a controlled substance included in Schedules II through V, or information concerning a refill authorization for a controlled substance included in Schedules III through V, must be electronically communicated to a pharmacy of the patient's choice pursuant to the provisions of this chapter if the electronically communicated prescription information complies with the following:
(a) Electronically communicated prescription information must comply with all applicable statutes and rules regarding the form, content, recordkeeping, and processing of a prescription for a legend drug;
(b) Prescription drug orders may be released only to the patient or the patient's authorized representative, the prescriber or other authorized practitioner then caring for the patient, or other persons specifically authorized by law to receive such information;
(c) The pharmacist shall exercise professional judgment regarding the accuracy, validity, and authenticity of the prescription drug order received by way of electronic transmission, consistent with federal and state laws and rules and guidelines of the commission.
(2) The following are exempt from subsection (1) of this section:
(a) Prescriptions issued by veterinarians, as that practice is defined in RCW 18.92.010;
(b) Prescriptions issued for a patient of a long-term care facility as defined in RCW 18.64.011, or a hospice program as defined in RCW 18.64.011;
(c) When the electronic system used for the communication of prescription information is unavailable due to a temporary technological or electronic failure;
(d) Prescriptions issued that are intended for prescription fulfillment and dispensing outside Washington state;
(e) When the prescriber and pharmacist are employed by the same entity, or employed by entities under common ownership or control;
(f) Prescriptions issued for a drug that the United States food and drug administration or the United States drug enforcement administration requires to contain certain elements that are not able to be accomplished electronically;
(g) Any controlled substance prescription that requires compounding as defined in RCW 18.64.011;
(h) Prescriptions issued for the dispensing of a nonpatient specific prescription under a standing order, approved protocol for drug therapy, collaborative drug therapy agreement, in response to a public health emergency, or other circumstances allowed by statute or rule where a practitioner may issue a nonpatient specific prescription;
(i) Prescriptions issued under a drug research protocol;
(j) Prescriptions issued by a practitioner with the capability of electronic communication of prescription information under this section, when the practitioner reasonably determines it is impractical for the patient to obtain the electronically communicated prescription in a timely manner, and such delay would adversely impact the patient's medical condition; or
(k) Prescriptions issued by a prescriber who has received a waiver from the department.
(3) The department must develop a waiver process for the requirements of subsection (1) of this section for practitioners due to economic hardship, technological limitations that are not reasonably in the control of the practitioner, or other exceptional circumstance demonstrated by the practitioner. The waiver must be limited to one year or less, or for any other specified time frame set by the department.
(4) A pharmacist who receives a written, oral, or faxed prescription is not required to verify that the prescription properly meets any exemptions under this section. Pharmacists may continue to dispense and deliver medications from otherwise valid written, oral, or faxed prescriptions.
(5) An individual who violates this section commits a civil violation. Disciplinary authorities may impose a fine of two hundred fifty dollars per violation, not to exceed five thousand dollars per calendar year. Fines imposed under this section must be allocated to the health professions account.
(6) Systems used for the electronic communication of prescription information must:
(a) Comply with federal laws and rules for electronically communicated prescriptions for controlled substances included in Schedules II through V, as required by Title 21 C.F.R. parts 1300, 1304, 1306, and 1311;
(b) Meet the national council for prescription drug prescriber/pharmacist interface SCRIPT standard as determined by the department in rule;
(c) Have adequate security and systems safeguards designed to prevent and detect unauthorized access, modification, or manipulation of these records;
(d) Provide an explicit opportunity for practitioners to indicate their preference on whether a therapeutically equivalent generic drug may be substituted; and
(e) Include the capability to input and track partial fills of a controlled substance prescription in accordance with RCW 18.64.265.
[ 2019 c 314 s 16; (2019 c 314 s 15 expired January 1, 2021). Prior: 2013 c 276 s 4; 2013 c 19 s 105; 1998 c 222 s 4.]


Expiration dateEffective date2019 c 314: "(1) Section 15 of this act expires January 1, 2021.
(2) Section 16 of this act takes effect January 1, 2021." [ 2019 c 314 s 44.]
Declaration2019 c 314: See note following RCW 18.22.810.
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