Workers’ compensation doctors required to check the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in North Carolina

by | Oct 15, 2018

Doctors in North Carolina will soon be required to check the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) when prescribing any targeted controlled substance to an injured worker. This requirement was stipulated under the opioid utilization rules adopted by the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) on May 1, 2018.

While the rules (, which limit opioid prescribing and set various morphine equivalent dose (MED) levels for acute and chronic pain, became effective on May, 1, 2018, the requirement for prescribers to check the state PDMP program was delayed. 

As of November 1, 2018, any health care provider who prescribes a targeted controlled substance – defined under the opioid utilization rule(s) – to an injured worker with a workers’ compensation claim, will be required to review the North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS), the state’s PDMP.  Providers must document the review in the injured worker’s medical record and outline any potential contraindications to the prescribed treatment of a targeted controlled substance found in the CRCS. 

Rule improves safety of injured workers

OWCA supports this additional effort put in place by the NCIC and believes this is a positive step for the safety of injured workers and toward ensuring that physicians treating injured workers are aware of all other prescription therapy taking place outside of the workers’ compensation claim. 

We urge our clients to work with providers treating injured workers to remind physicians of their need to check the CSRS when prescribing targeted controlled substances.  Should you have questions regarding this or any other workers’ compensation developing public policy, please contact us at

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