Last Updated: Mar 9, 2020
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has issued new temporary regulations on Pennsylvania’s opioid patient treatment agreement law. The regulations were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on March 7, 2020.
The law, known as Act 112 of 2019, requires prescribers to enter into an opioid patient treatment agreement before issuing the first prescription in a single course of treatment for chronic pain using any opioid-containing medication, regardless of whether the dosage is modified during treatment.
Keep in mind that the law:
- Applies to agreements for patients with chronic pain. It is not intended to be applied in situations involving acute pain (i.e. pain that comes on quickly, may be severe, but lasts a relatively short time and is provoked by a specific condition or injury.)
- Applies specifically to opioid prescriptions. It does not apply to non-opioid Schedule II drugs.
- Does not affect opioid treatment agreements that were entered into prior to November 27, 2019.
Get Answers on the Opioid Treatment Agreement Law & the New Regulations
DOH’s new temporarily regulations provide further clarification on issues like drug testing, terminating the agreement, and penalties under the law.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED) Quick Consult fact sheet answers frequently asked questions about the law – including exceptions to the law – and has been updated to reflect the state’s new temporary regulations.
Get the Quick Consult
Prior to the law’s passage, PAMED did share our opposition to the bill with legislators. While we support initiatives to combat the opioid crisis, we did not support the imposition of mandates on the prescriber-patient relationship. We will continue to work with DOH and other stakeholders in efforts such as developing the state’s voluntary opioid prescribing guidelines.
Additional Resources: Treatment Agreement Checklist & More
DOH offers a variety of resources on the opioid patient treatment agreement law for both prescribers and patients, including:
Find all of DOH’s resources here.
PAMED members with questions about the opioid treatment agreement law can contact our Knowledge Center at 855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348) or KnowledgeCenter@pamedsoc.org.