CMS allows exemptions for tamper-proof prescription pads

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reversed its position regarding guidance for tamper-proof prescription pads. The agency disclosed Friday it will exempt prescriptions that are electronic, faxed, or verbal, or paid for by a managed care entity.

The move follows criticism last month from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, which said that that, without these exemptions, institutionalized individuals, such as long-term care residents, would not have access to medications covered by Medicaid. CMS had issued a proposed rule that would eliminate the exemption for computer-generated faxes from the e-prescribing standards.

Under the new guidance, tamper-proof prescription pads will be required effective Oct. 1 for most Medicaid-covered outpatient prescriptions in non-electronic form. The pads must contain at least one industry-recognized feature to prevent copying, erasing or counterfeiting.