Last week, the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine published proposed regulations amending the physician controlled substances prescribing regulations to, among other things, expand the regs to include butalbital, carisoprodol and tramadol hydrochloride

Under the proposed regulations, these drugs would now be subject to the same requirements applicable in Pennsylvania to physician office prescribing of controlled substances, including that an initial medical history and physical exam be performed before a drug may be prescribed unless emergency circumstances justify otherwise, and that patients receive appropriate counseling regarding the patient’s condition and the drug dispensed.

In addition, among other things, each time a drug is prescribed, administered or dispensed, the medical record must be updated to include the name of the drug, its strength, the quantity and the date it was prescribed, administered or dispensed. For the initial visit when the drug is prescribed, administered or dispensed, the medical record documentation must also include the patient's symptoms, the diagnosis and the instructions given to the patient for the use of the drug. If the same drug is repeatedly prescribed, administered or dispensed, the medical record must also reflect changes in the symptoms, diagnosis and instructions given.

The proposed regulations have been published for public comment. If you're interested in submitting written comments on the regulations you can submit your comments, suggestions or objections to Teresa Lazo, Assistant Counsel, Department of State, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, st-medicine@state.pa.us within 30 days of March 3, 2012. Commenters should reference No. 16A-4933 (Prescribing) when submitting comments