Policy for Prescribing, Dispensing and Administering Controlled Substances


South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2017-43, setting a five-day limit for certain opioid prescriptions and a supplemental requirement for the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) to articulate opioid dosing guidelines in policy.

The five-day limit is for initial opioid prescriptions for acute and post-operative pain management. The policy will provide exceptions when clinically indicated. Additionally, SCDHHS will recommend best practices that require legislative or regulatory action to the Opioid Emergency Response Team.

The deadline for these policies is March 1, 2018, with an implementation date to follow “as soon as reasonable,” giving due consideration to public notice activities and system changes that may be necessary to operationalize such a limit.

SCDHHS will schedule public comment activities after Jan. 1, 2018, to receive input from providers, beneficiaries and other stakeholders regarding the implementation of these prescribing thresholds. Look for future alerts from SCDHHS, as well as from the state’s medical provider associations, for opportunities for public comment.

A copy of the executive order is available online.

Thank you for your continued support of the South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid program.

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