Requirements related to all prescriptions
Regulatory Bylaw 17.1 sets out the requirements that apply to all written and verbal prescriptions issued by physicians.
17.1 : (d) A physician who issues a written prescription must include all of the following information on the prescription in a manner that is fully legible:
(i) his/her name and signature;
(ii) the patient’s name;
(iii) the full name of the medication;
(iv) the medication concentration where appropriate;
(v) the medication strength where appropriate;
(vi) the dosage;
(vii) the amount prescribed or the duration of treatment;
(viii)the administration route if other than oral;
(ix) explicit instructions for patient usage of the medication;
(x) the number of refills where refills are authorized.
(e) All of this information shall be contained on one side of the prescription form.
There is an additional requirement that residents place the name of the supervising physician on the script:
(i) Physicians in training who are enrolled on the educational register of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and who may be authorized to issue prescriptions must clearly identify on the prescription the name of the fully registered physician who is their supervisor in respect to that specific physician/patient interaction.
The College requires this so that pharmacists who receive these prescriptions will be able to contact the supervising physician with any questions or concerns related to the prescription.
Requirements related to Prescription Review medication prescriptions
Regulatory Bylaw 18.1 sets out the additional requirements that apply to prescriptions for prescription review medications. PRP medications include opioids, benzodiazepines, gabapentin, stimulants, etc. The bylaw contains a complete list of the medications that are subject to the bylaw.
18.1 (c) In order to prescribe a drug to which the Prescription Review Program applies, physicians shall complete a written prescription which meets federal and provincial legal requirements and includes the following:
(i) The patient’s date of birth;
(ii) The patient’s address;
(iii) The total quantity of medication prescribed, both numerically and in written form;
(iv) The patient’s health services number; and,
(v) The prescriber’s name and address.
18.1 (g) Physicians shall only prescribe part-fills of medications to which the Prescription Review Program applies if the following information is specified in the prescription:
(i) The total quantity;
(ii) The amount to be dispensed each time; and
(iii) The time interval between fills.
See also: DocTalk (Vol 5, Issue 3, pp.23-24) - Prescribing Requirements for PRP Medications
In addition to the general requirements for writing such prescriptions, the bylaw imposes additional requirements if the writer is a resident:
(f) If a physician is registered on the Educational Register, the physician shall, in addition to the information in paragraph (c) [of the bylaw] above, include the following in a prescription for a drug to which the Prescription Review Program applies:
(i) The training level of the physician writing the prescription;
(ii) The legibly printed name of the Most Responsible Physician (the physician to whom queries regarding the prescription should be addressed);
(iii) The legibly printed name of the physician writing the prescription.
Residents and physicians who supervise residents should be aware of these requirements to avoid patients having problems obtaining prescribed medications as a result of incomplete prescriptions.