As you may already know, there were some new state laws enacted in the fall of 2018, which limit prescription of certain postoperative pain medications to 7 days, with only one refill allowed, within the first two weeks of surgery.
You may or may not also know that as of January 1, 2020, all prescriptions, whether they are for controlled substances or not, must be sent directly to your pharmacy using electronic prescribing, called “e-scribing”. There are automatic exemptions for the VA and military bases, as those come under federal rather than state law. There is a backup paper system in place for unusual situations when the e-scribing is not possible, but in general, what that means now is that the if you have surgery and you are filling your prescription at a civilian/commercial pharmacy, you will not receive a paper script to take with you to the pharmacy. You will simply show up there, present your ID, and pick up your prescription.
VA meds can be often mailed to your house, but you must plan ahead to allow time for mail transit. You will need to pick up a paper script and walk it in to the VA pharmacy on the first floor of the Oklahoma City VA, but you do not need to wait for it to be filled if you choose to have it mailed.
Note that some pharmacies, i.e. Walmart, have set corporate policies with limits on the amount of medication which can be dispensed that are lower than the state limits.
Please make sure our office has the correct pharmacy on file, or let us know if you wish to fill somewhere else, so we can make sure it goes to the right place. Similarly, any other medical offices where you receive care will need to have an updated pharmacy on file.
As with most changes of this sort, there may be some inconvenience and/or technical issues which occur with the transition, so we appreciate your patience. Overall, however, it is a positive change, as it lessens the risk of prescription fraud and avoids the need for a patient who has had recent surgery to get to the office to pick up a paper script, or send a friend or family member to do so.
By Oklahoma Shoulder Center PLLC
January 1, 2020