Florida Targets Prescription Drug Abuse with Controlled Substance CE Requirements

MARCH 30, 2016
Florida has historically been known as the epicenter for prescription drug abuse.
However, with stricter controlled substance laws and regulations, and implementation of the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), deaths caused by oxycodone have decreased in Florida by 12% when compared with 2013.1

The Florida Board of Pharmacy has implemented new continuing education requirements regarding evaluating controlled substance prescriptions.2 Pharmacists must complete a 2-hour course on validation of prescriptions for controlled substances for license renewal each biennium. This course must be completed before the next license renewal by September 30, 2017.2

The course content must include the following2:
  • Ensuring patients with valid prescriptions have access to controlled substances
  • Using the PDMP
  • Assessing prescription therapeutic value
  • Detecting prescriptions not issued for a legitimate medical purpose
  • Prescribing and dispensing controlled substance laws and rules
Pharmacists should ensure that their continuing education program meets the content requirements.

This should be a very beneficial continuing education requirement for Florida pharmacists.
Based on the most recent report, only 51% of Florida pharmacists have registered to use the PDMP.1 Hopefully this continuing education program will motivate Florida pharmacists to utilize the PDMP for validating prescriptions.

  1. 2014-2015 Prescription drug monitoring program annual report. E-FORCSE. http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/e-forcse/news-reports/_documents/2015-pdmp-annual-report.pdf. December 1, 2015.  
  2. Validate pain medication prescriptions. Florida Board of Pharmacy. http://floridaspharmacy.gov/latest-news/validate-pain-medication-prescriptions/. Accessed March 29, 2016.

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, received her PharmD degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy in 2006 and completed a 2-year drug information residency. She served as a pharmacy professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy for 6 years, managed the drug information center, and conducted medication therapy management reviews. Dr. Gershman has published research on prescription drug abuse, regulatory issues, and drug information in various scholarly journals. Additionally, she received the Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award for her collaboration with the Broward, Florida Sheriff’s Office to prevent prescription drug abuse through a drug disposal program. She has also presented at pharmacist and physician continuing education programs on topics that include medication errors, prescription drug abuse, and legal and regulatory issues. Dr. Gershman can be followed on Twitter @jgershman2