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Controlled Substances Bill

Take Control of Controlled Substances

(Chapter 2018-13, Laws of Florida)

In 2018, Florida passed the Controlled Substances Bill that establishes prescribing limits, requires continuing education on controlled substance prescribing, expands required use of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, EFORCSE, and more.

Required Continuing Education

Each prescribing practitioner who is registered with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, is required to take a Board-approved continuing education course, unless the practitioner is already required to complete such a course under his or her practice act.

The course must be completed by January 31, 2019, and at each subsequent licensure renewal.

Prescription limits for Acute Pain

A prescribing practitioner may prescribe or dispense up to a 3-day supply of a Schedule II opioid to alleviate acute pain. However, a prescribing practitioner may prescribe or dispense up to a 7-day supply for acute pain if the physician determines:

  • more than a three-day supply is needed based on the professional judgement of the prescriber;
  • indicates "acute pain exception" on the prescription, AND
  • documents the justification for deviating from the 3-day supply limit in the patient's medical record
Prescriptions for Nonacute Pain

If the prescriber writes a prescription for a Schedule II opioid for the treatment of pain other than acute pain, the prescriber must indicate "Nonacute Pain" on the prescription.

Pain Management Clinics

All pain management clinics must be registered with the Department of Health as a pain management clinic or hold a certificate of exemption by January 1, 2019.

An applicant for a certificate of exemption must provide:

  • The name or names under which the applicant does business;
  • The address at which the pain management clinic is located;
  • The specific exemption that the applicant is claiming, along with supporting documentation; AND
  • Any other information DOH deems necessary.


Each certificate must be renewed biennially, be prominently displayed, and made available to the DOH or applicable board upon request.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Each prescriber and dispenser or his/her designee has a duty to consult the PDMP system to a patient's controlled substance dispensing history each time a controlled substance is prescribed or dispensed to a patient age 16 or older unless a statutory exemption applies.

There is required consultation of the PDMP except:

  • Patient is less than 16 years of age
  • Drug being prescribed is a nonopioid Schedule V
  • System is not operational
  • Requestor has technological or electrical failure


Failure to consult the PDMP may result in a non-disciplinary citation by the regulatory board or further discipline.

You may register for the PDMP at: https://florida.pmpaware.net


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