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South Carolina limits initial opioid prescriptions

by Mary McNitt | May 18, 2018

Add South Carolina to the continually growing list of states limiting initial prescriptions for opioids with the recent signing of its Senate Bill 918. The new law, signed May 15, 2018, limits initial opioid prescriptions for acute or postoperative pain management to a seven-day supply, with exceptions. Further, the bill permits that upon any subsequent consultation for the same pain, a practitioner may issue an appropriate renewal, refill or new opioid prescription.

Exceptions to the days’ supply limitation include treatment for cancer pain, chronic pain, hospice care, palliative care, major trauma, major surgery, sickle cell disease and treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome or medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder. The days' supply limitation also does not apply to prescriptions for opioids to be wholly administered in a hospital, nursing home, hospice facility or residential care facility.

In addition to the initial prescription limit, the new law also directs the state’s Department of Health and Environment Control to develop and maintain, as part of the state prescription monitoring program, a system to provide prescription report cards to practitioners informing them of prescribing trends, including comparisons of their prescribing trends with peer averages.

Official information on SB 918 is available here.

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