California Legislature passes Assembly Bill 1048 – partial fill for pain management and Schedule II Drug prescriptions

ThinkstockPhotos-MD001994_jpgEffective July 1, 2018, CA AB 1048 authorizes a pharmacist to dispense a Schedule II controlled substance as a partial fill if requested by the patient or the provider.

With CA AB 1048, the California Legislature is taking steps to prevent the over prescription of opioids and minimize the number of pills available for unintentional or intentional diversion.

  • Subsequent fills of the original Schedule II drug prescription must be made at the pharmacy where the original prescription was partially filled, and if the full prescription is not dispensed within 30 days of the date written, the prescription expires.
  • The pharmacy is required to retain the original Schedule II prescription, and note the date, amount of each partial fill, and the initials of the dispensing pharmacist, until the prescription has been fully dispensed.

Note that Schedule II drugs are defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence, and are considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are oxycodone and fentanyl.

In addition, effective January 1, 2019, the bill requires health care service plans and insurers, including Health Net of California, Inc. and Health Net Life Insurance Company, to prorate the member’s cost-sharing for a partial fill of a prescription of an oral, solid dosage form prescription drug. Prior to January 1, 2019, the member pays the full copayment up front for a partial fill, and then has no cost share for the remaining partial refill.

If you have any questions, please contact your dedicated Health Net sales representative.




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Gabriel Padilla