Resources & Information

Position Statements

Writing of prescriptions

 Categories:  Clinical Practice, Prescribing   Adopted: May 1991  | Amended: Jul 2012  Print Friendly Version  |   Share this item

It is the position of the North Carolina Medical Board that prescriptions should be written in ink or indelible pencil or typewritten or electronically issued and should be signed by the licensee at time of issuance. Prescriptions that are handwritten should indicate the quantity in both numbers AND words, e.g., 30 (thirty).

Each handwritten prescription for a DEA controlled substance (2, 2N, 3, 3N, 4 and 5) should be written on a separate prescription blank. Each electronic prescription for a DEA controlled substance (2, 2N, 3, 3N, 4 and 5) should be issued separately and comply with DEA regulations. Multiple medications may appear on a single prescription blank only when none are DEA-controlled.

No prescriptions should be issued for a patient in the absence of a documented licensee-patient relationship.

Any prescriptions written by licensees for their personal use should comply with the Board’s position statement on “Self Treatment and Treatment of Family Members.” As noted in that position statement, it is the Board’s position that it is not appropriate for licensees to write prescriptions for controlled substances for themselves or their family members.

The practice of pre-signing prescriptions is unacceptable to the Board.

It is the responsibility of those who prescribe controlled substances to fully comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. Links to these laws and regulations may be found on the Board’s website,