DEA Seeks To Quicken Nursing Home Resident Access to Rx Medication
On Wednesday, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a new guideline that will allow nursing home nurses to call in prescriptions for painkillers and anti-anxiety medication, in an effort to shorten the time it takes for residents to receive such prescriptions, the New York Times reports (Singer, New York Times, 10/6).
Prior to the guideline, the agency did not recognize nurses who were employed by nursing homes as legal agents acting in lieu of physicians to call in prescriptions to pharmacists.
The pharmacies were able to dispense these drugs to patients only via direct communication with a doctor. The new guideline permits physicians to authorize more than one nurse or health care worker to communicate the need for certain medications.
Although some observers say the guideline will decrease the wait for important medications, nurses still will not be permitted to call in prescriptions for certain drugs, such as morphine (Singer, New York Times, 10/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.