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Aug 16 2016

Rule change update: Opioid prescribing CME requirement

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Latest news: The NC Rules Review Commission gave final approval to the rule changes below at its meeting on August 18.


NCMB’s plans to require continuing medical education (CME) in pain management and related topics of all licensees who prescribe controlled substances took another step forward at the Board’s July meeting.

The final version of the proposed rule includes an important change to the effective date of the CME requirement. The Board voted to make the requirement effective July 1, 2017, instead of Jan. 1, 2017, as originally planned. The Board made this change to allow NCMB staff ample time to communicate with affected licensees about the new CME requirement and provide additional time for licensees to comply.

As proposed, the rule changes would require physicians who prescribe controlled substances to complete three hours of CME during each three-year CME cycle. Physician assistants would be required to complete two hours of CME during each two-year cycle. To meet the requirement, courses would have to cover “controlled substances prescribing practices, recognizing signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.”

The NC Rules Review Commission is expected to decide whether to grant final approval to the CME rule changes at its meeting on August 18.

For more about the new CME requirement click here.

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