The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 4289. Standards and guidelines for health care providers and dispensers
(a) Each professional licensing authority for health care providers shall develop evidence-based standards to guide health care providers in the appropriate prescription of Schedules II, III, and IV controlled substances for treatment of acute pain, chronic pain, and for other medical conditions to be determined by the licensing authority. The standards developed by the licensing authorities shall be consistent with rules adopted by the Department of Health. The licensing authorities shall submit their standards to the Commissioner of Health, who shall review for consistency across health care providers and notify the applicable licensing authority of any inconsistencies identified.
(b)(1) Each health care provider who prescribes any Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances shall register with the VPMS by November 15, 2013.
(2) If the VPMS shows that a patient has filled a prescription for a controlled substance written by a health care provider who is not a registered user of VPMS, the Commissioner of Health shall notify the applicable licensing authority and the provider by mail of the provider's registration requirement pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(3) The Commissioner of Health shall develop additional procedures to ensure that all health care providers who prescribe controlled substances are registered in compliance with subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(c) Except in the event of electronic or technological failure, health care providers shall query the VPMS with respect to an individual patient in the following circumstances:
(1) at least annually for patients who are receiving ongoing treatment with an opioid Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance;
(2) when starting a patient on a Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance for nonpalliative long-term pain therapy of 90 days or more;
(3) the first time the provider prescribes an opioid Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance written to treat chronic pain; and
(4) prior to writing a replacement prescription for a Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance pursuant to section 4290 of this title.
(d)(1) Each dispenser who dispenses any Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances shall register with the VPMS.
(2) Except in the event of electronic or technological failure, dispensers shall query the VPMS in accordance with rules adopted by the Commissioner of Health.
(3) Pharmacies and other dispensers shall report each dispensed prescription for a Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance to the VPMS within 24 hours or one business day after dispensing.
(e) The Commissioner of Health shall, after consultation with the Vermont Prescription Drug Advisory Council, adopt rules necessary to effect the purposes of this section. The Commissioner and the Council shall consider additional circumstances under which health care providers should be required to query the VPMS, including whether health care providers should be required to query the VPMS prior to writing a prescription for any opioid Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance or when a patient requests renewal of a prescription for an opioid Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substance written to treat acute pain, and the Commissioner may adopt rules accordingly.
(f) Each professional licensing authority for health care providers and dispensers shall consider the statutory requirements, rules, and standards adopted pursuant to this section in disciplinary proceedings when determining whether a licensee has complied with the applicable standard of care. (Added 2013, No. 75, § 11; amended 2015, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2019, No. 82, § 8.)