FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. Can a prescription for a Controlled
Substance III-V with 5 refills be filled more than 5 times, if the patient only
receives partial fillings?
A. Yes- the patient is due
the full capacity of the original prescription.
Q. Can a retail pharmacy take back a
prescription that has been dispensed to a patient in a nursing home after the
patient is deceased?
A. No- once the
prescription is dispensed it cannot be taken back into the pharmacy. A nurse
can destroy the prescribed medication with a witness present.
Q. Can my technician have keys to the
pharmacy to open up if I am going to be a few minutes late?
A. No- only a licensed
pharmacist can have keys to the pharmacy.
Q. If a patient has a prescription and
the physician has signed “Dispense as written” can I give the generic if I do
not have the brand?
A. No- the prescription must
be filled as it is written. The only way to give the generic is to call the
physician and get approval. Then you should write on the prescription, the name
of the person who gave the approval and the date and time approved.
Q. The doctor in my town gives his okay
to change from a brand to the generic when he signs dispense as written. Can I
get a blanket letter from him stating it is okay to change when I do not have
the brand medication?
Q. I am taking over as supervising
pharmacist; do I need to take an inventory?
A. Yes- when a pharmacist assumes the duties of supervising pharmacist, he or she must notify the Board within ten (10) days. They must also take an inventory of all controlled substances to establish a baseline of responsibilities for these drugs. It is recommended the inventory be taken with the outgoing supervising pharmacist if possible.
Q. A municipal police officer wants a
patient profile. Do I have to give him one?
A. Yes- State Law says that, prescriptions, orders and records of controlled substances enumerated in Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V shall be open for inspection only to federal, state, county and municipal officers, the investigators of the Board of Dental Examiners, and the agents and officers of the Department of Public Safety.
Q. The doctor wrote the wrong drug
strength on a schedule III prescription. Can I change the strength or does the
patient have to get a new prescription?
A: The following changes can be made on a prescription written for Schedule III-V controlled substances only after consulting with the prescribing physician.
Q. Can a physician post or pre date a
A. No controlled substance prescription may be legally pre-dated or post-dated. Federal regulations require that a controlled substance prescription be dated with the date of issuance.
Q. Can I let my technician sign the
invoices when the controlled drugs are delivered at the store?
A. No- under Federal and State regulations, all receipts of controlled substances by a pharmacy shall be reviewed and approved by a pharmacist. Said review and approval shall be documented by the signature of a pharmacist employed by the pharmacy permit holder on the supplier’s invoice.
Q. Can I fill a prescription for “Office
Use” in a physician’s office?
A. No- a pharmacy is permitted to supply controlled drugs to a physician’s office provided the physician executes an order form for Schedule II drugs. Distribution of Schedules III, IV, and V drugs to the physician’s office by a pharmacy must be evidenced by an invoice or other document. One copy must be retained by the physician. No controlled substances may be supplied to an office by prescription made out “for office use,” or any manner for patient and intended for office use.
Q. Can a pharmacy take a prescription back
once it has been dispensed?
A. No- a licensed pharmacy or pharmacist shall not accept for refund purpose or otherwise any unused portion of any dispensed prescription.
Q. Can I leave prescriptions at the store
next door when I close, so a patient can pick it up after I close?
A. No- a pharmacy shall not authorize any person, firm, or business establishment to serve as a pick-up station or intermediary for the purpose of having prescriptions filled or delivered, whether for profit or gratuitously.
Q. Can a pharmacy or pharmacist supply a
practitioner a prescription blank containing the name and address of the
A. No prescription blank supplied by a pharmacy or pharmacist to a practitioner shall bear the imprint thereon of the name or address of any pharmacy or bear the name or address of any person registered by the State Board.
Q. How long is a pharmacy required to
keep prescription files?
A. A prescription file or files shall be kept by every pharmacy for a period of not less than two years in which the original of every prescription compounded or dispensed shall be filed in the order of compounding with number and date of dispensing placed on each prescription. However, we recommend keeping them 5 years.
Q. If I have my files on a computer, do I
have to retain a hard copy?
A. Yes-a hard copy of each prescription in the order it is dispensed, including number and date, must be maintained for a period of not less than two (2) years.
Q. If a patient is questionable on the
abuse of narcotics; do I have to fill their prescription?
A. No, you can refuse to fill any prescription you are not comfortable with.
Q. Can a physician “fax” schedule II
A. No, unless it is for a hospice patient, terminally ill patient, or resident of a Long Term Care Facility.
do I do if I cannot fill a schedule II prescription with the full amount?
Q. I am going to open up a business
repacking medications, am I required to hire a pharmacist?
A. Yes- state regulations require that you would have to employ a full time pharmacist, whose principal duty would be confined to on-premise pharmaceutical operations.
Q. Can I be a supervising pharmacist at
more than one pharmacy?
A. Yes, if with the approval of the Board, it shall be not deemed to be supervising more than one (1) pharmacy where a pharmacist is supervising a pharmacy and, also, an institutional pharmacy which is open less than fifteen (15) hours per week.
Q. What is the technician ratio?
Q. Can a Physician’s Assistant write
prescriptions for controlled substances?
Q. Can controlled substances and legend
drugs be on the same prescription?
Q. How many medications can be on a
A. There is no limit as to the amount.
Q. Are there a specific number of
prescriptions a pharmacist can fill each day?
A. No- whatever he is comfortable with filling each day.
Q. Can I leave the pharmacy open
when I take a lunch break?
A. Yes, in any pharmacy that is staffed by a single pharmacist, the pharmacist may leave the pharmacy area or department, temporarily, for breaks and meal periods without closing the pharmacy and removing interns/externs and technicians from the pharmacy, if the pharmacist reasonably believes that the security of the controlled substances will be maintained in his or her absence.
Q. How long are meal periods?
A. The meal period is limited to thirty (30) minutes. The pharmacist shall remain within the facility during the break period and be available to handle all emergency situations.
Q. Does a pharmacist have to keep his
CE’s in the pharmacy?
A. No- it is your responsibility to keep up with them. They can be kept at home or at the pharmacy.
Q. What is the procedure for closing my
A. You must notify the Board of the date of closing, provide written notification of the whereabouts of the remaining drugs and the prescription files. You must return the permit and controlled substance license for the current year, and send the Board a copy of the controlled substance inventory taken at the close of business. Contact DEA and send them any unused 222 Forms and your DEA registration.
Q. How can I become a parenteral
A. You must attend a five (5) hour seminar for parenteral pharmacists, and the seminar must meet the criteria listed on the prior approval form for parenteral program certification approved by the Board.
Q. What is the procedure for relocating
A. Contact the Board office, and submit the necessary paperwork. An investigator will have to inspect the new location prior to relocating.
Q. Can a pharmacist’s license or a
technician’s registration be placed on an inactive status?
A. No- there is currently no inactive status. The license will become null and void due to non-payment. All fees plus penalties must be paid if brought up to date at a later time. Pharmacist- After five (5) years you must take the MPJE exam and be interviewed by the Board.
Q. How long must a pharmacist be licensed
before he/she can become a preceptor?
A. Two (2) years.
Q. How can I obtain a copy of Title 34
and the Pharmacy Practice Act?
A. You can print a copy from our website at www.albop.com, or send a check for $7.00 to Alabama State Board of Pharmacy, 111 Village St, Hoover, AL 35242.
Q. How can I get a pharmacy technician registration form?
A. You can contact our office for any forms you need and they will be faxed or mailed to you, or you can print any form from our website at www.albop.com.
Q. Is there a training period for technicians, before a registration is needed?
A. No-they must have their registration in hand prior to performing any work as a technician.
Q. How many CE hours does a pharmacist have to have per year? How many hours can be carried over from the previous year?
A. A pharmacist has to have participated in not less than fifteen (15) hours of approved CE per year, three (3) hours of which shall be of “live” exposure. Hours of credit in excess of the minimum annual requirement may be carried forward for credit in the succeeding calendar year; however, no more than an excess of twelve (12) hours shall be carried to the succeeding calendar year. Notwithstanding the above carry over provision, no less than three (3) “live” hours shall be obtained in each calendar year.
Q. Does a technician have to have CE hours?
A. Yes- a technician must have three (3) hours of CE every year. One (1) of those CE hours must be a “live” credit hour. Technicians are not allowed to carry over any hours from the previous year.
Q. What are the requirements for becoming a consultant?
A. Contact our office for the necessary paperwork. Pharmacist must have taken the initial consultants course and have successfully completed an examination with a passing score of 75%. The initial certification course shall be a ten (10) hour approved course consisting of the following subject matter:
Attend a seminar for
consultant training of not less than six (6) live integrated hours approved by
the Board not less than every year. Hours cannot be carried over. Not less
than two (2) integrated hours shall be approved for any consultant
re-certification CE program.
Pharmacists shall obtain no less than 15 hours of approved continuing (CE), three hours of which shall be of “live” exposure. Hours in excess of the minimum annual requirement may be carried forward to the succeeding calendar year; however, no more than 12 hours shall be carried over and no less than three “live” hours shall be obtained in each calendar year.
Consultant pharmacists shall obtain annually no less than six “live” consultant approved hours in not less than two “live” increments. No “live” consultant hours can be carried over from each calendar year. ONLINE Consultant Application.
Preceptor pharmacists must attend a preceptor approved training seminar at least once every three years.
Parenteral pharmacists shall have attended a one-time, five-hour approved parenteral certification course, including didactic and hands-on experience, requiring a written exam as part of the training.
Nuclear pharmacists shall attend no less than a one hour, nuclear approved CE course each year.
Registered pharmacy technicians shall obtain not less than three hours of approved CE, one hour of which shall be of “live” exposure. No hours in excess of the minimum requirement may be carried forward to the succeeding calendar year.
For D.E.A. questions and answers, please read them here.
Alabama Board of Pharmacy
111 Village St
Hoover, AL 35242
Voice: 205-981-2280 Fax: 205.981.2330