South Carolina Establishes Limits for Initial Opioid Prescriptions

Released: 05/15/2018  

South Carolina has been added to a growing number of states that have enacted legislation to limit initial opioid prescriptions in certain circumstances.

The Amendment states that “initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain management or post-operative pain management must not exceed a seven-day supply.” This rule does not apply for cancer pain, chronic pain, hospice care, palliative care, major trauma, major surgery and other exceptions. The Amendment does not apply to opioid prescriptions wholly-administered in a hospital or other healthcare facility.

A section has been added to the current law to include an addition to require the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop a method to provide prescription report cards to practitioners. The report cards will provide prescribing trends and comparison patterns to their peers from data provided to the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The law has been amended to allow for an exception in confidentiality for the purpose of the practitioner report cards.

The law was signed by the Governor and became effective on May 15, 2018.