AB 149 is intended to resolve problems unintentionally created by AB 1753 (Low, Chapter 794, Statutes of 2018), which reduced the number of authorized security printers approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and required security prescription forms to have unique serialized numbers. AB 1753 took effect Jan. 1, 2019.
However, not all prescribers have been able to obtain the security prescription forms required by the law or have unknowingly continued using non-compliant prescription forms. As a result, some pharmacists were caught in a difficult position having to decide whether to provide needed medication for patients or comply with the new law.
Since then, AB 149 has been passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 149 delays the requirement for prescription forms with uniquely serialized numbers until a date to be determined by DOJ but no later than Jan. 1, 2020.
AB 149 also declares that any prescription written on a form that was otherwise valid before Jan. 1, 2019, or was written on a form approved by DOJ as of Jan. 1, 2019, is valid and may be filled, compounded or dispensed until Jan. 1, 2021.
The Controlled substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), maintained by the Department of Justice (DOJ), tracks all Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances dispensed in California. CURES contains the following information: patient name, patient date of birth, patient address, prescriber name, prescriber DEA number, pharmacy name, pharmacy license number, date prescription was dispensed, prescription number, drug name, drug quantity and strength, and number of refills remaining.