Important Information for our Patients Regarding the Prescribing of Controlled Substances
Beginning Jan 1, 2021, the State of Wyoming mandates that all prescriptions for controlled substances be sent electronically. Our understanding is that there will be no exceptions to this policy. This data will then be captured by the state to monitor the use of controlled substances by Wyoming residents. This is part of a larger effort by the federal government to curb the abuse of prescription narcotics. There are several important implications of this law that our patients need to aware of:
1. There will no longer be any written (or paper) prescriptions allowed for any medication which is controlled. This includes not only narcotic medications such as Percocet (oxycodone) or Vicodin (hydrocodone) which are frequently given by us for relief of acute post-operative pain, but also all benzodiazepines (such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium), prescription night time sleep aids (like Ambien and Lunesta), hormone preparations that contain testosterone, some muscle relaxants, some prescription weight loss medications (including phentermine), cough suppressants that contain codeine, and some drugs used to treat gut motility problems to name a few.
2. All prescriptions for controlled substances of any kind will be kept in a database maintained by the state of Wyoming.
3. Prescribers are required to query this database whenever new prescriptions for controlled substances are generated and at least every three months for patients who are receiving controlled substances on a chronic basis.
4. If patients are found to be receiving prescriptions for controlled substances of similar classes from multiple providers or classes that create potential conflicts (such as narcotics and benzodiazepines), this will be flagged by the database and reviewed by the prescribing physician(s). This could result in denial of prescriptions and, if there is concern regarding drug seeking behavior, investigation by law enforcement.
5. If you have questions as to how these new laws will affect your particular care, please address this with us during your next scheduled visit.