Maine Pharmacy Association

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing.  Notably, “A pharmacist is NOT required to verify that a practitioner has a waiver of the requirement to electronically prescribe…” To review the official documents, please click on the links below. Electronic-Prescribing-Clarifications Opioid Dispensing Clarification    

E-Prescribing Grace Period Notice and Chapter 488 User Guide

The deadline for mandatory e-prescribing of opioids was rapidly approaching on July 1st. However, the State sent the following communication announcing a 31 day grace period for enforcement of the penalties for violating the e-prescribing provision.  This is good news and will give prescribers and dispensers a little more time to prepare. DHHS provided material on other provisions in Chapter […]

2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble

Join us for our 2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble ! Where: Val Halla Country Club When: Saturday, August 12, 2017 Shotgun start 1pm Includes 18 holes of golf on a championship course, golf cart, BBQ dinner at Rachel’s on the Green! Cost: Single Golfer: $110.00 Foursome: $400.00 Dinner Only: $35.00 Corporate or personal hole sponsorship: $75 […]

Pharmacists from across Maine convene in Augusta to advocate for profession and patients

Pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state convened in Augusta on May 30th to advocate for LD 572.   Update: Senate passes LD 572; now on to the House!  LD 572 specifies in statute that the “Practice of Pharmacy” is “the provision of health care services” and that “Pharmacists” are “providers of health care services”. […]

LD6 and LD44 Are Successfully Moving Through the Legislative Process

Good news!!  Two bills, LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on Clean Claims Submitted by Pharmacies” and LD 455, “An Act Relating to the Provision of Smoking Cessation Services by Pharmacists” are moving through the legislature process. LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on […]

Maine’s new opioid prescribing and PMP law takes effect July 29th, though some provisions have other timeframes specified in the law.  The impact of this law will significantly affect prescribers, pharmacists and patients.  Here’s an essential update:


Individuals who violate this law (prescribers and pharmacists) may be subject to civil penalties of $250 per violation, not to exceed $5000 per calendar year.


Limits on Prescribing

Effective 7/29/16 – Limits new opioid prescriptions, or an aggregate of multiple opioids prescriptions, to no more than 100 morphine mg equivalents (MMEs) per day.  Visit the Maine Quality Counts Caring for ME webpage for information on compassionate tapering of opioids.


Effective 7/29/16 until 7/1/17 – For patients who already have active prescriptions that exceed 100 MMEs per day, opioids prescriptions must be limited to 300 MMEs per day, in aggregate.


Effective 7/1/17 – New and existing prescriptions for opioid medications are limited to 100 MMEs per day.



  • Medical necessity that is documented in the patient’s record.  This expires 1/1/17.
  • Cancer pain
  • Palliative care associated with a serious illness or injury.
  • End of life and hospice care
  • Medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse disorder
  • Opioids directly ordered or administered in an emergency room, hospital, long-term care or residential treatment facility.
  • Or other circumstances to be defined in rule by 1/1/2017.


Effective 1/1/17 – Opioid prescriptions for acute pain limited to 7 day supply within a 7 day period (renewable).  Opioid prescriptions for chronic pain limited to a 30 day supply within a 30 day period (renewable).


Prescription Monitoring Program

Effective 1/1/17 – Prescribers must check the PMP upon initial prescription of a benzodiazepine or an opioids, and every 90 days thereafter for as long as the prescription is renewed.  This provision does not apply when a benzodiazepine or opioids is ordered or administered in an emergency room, a hospital, a long term care facility or a residential care facility.


Effective 1/1/17 – Pharmacists must check the PMP prior to dispensing a benzodiazepine or opioids under the following circumstances:

  1. A person is not a resident of Maine
  2. The prescription is from a prescriber with an address outside Maine
  3. The person is paying cash when the person has a prescription insurance on file
  4. According to the pharmacy record, the person has not had a prescription for a benzodiazepine or an opioids medication in the previous 12 months.


o   Requires that pharmacists notify the program and withhold a prescription until the pharmacist is able to contact the prescriber if the pharmacist has reason to believe that the prescription is fraudulent or duplicative.

o   Allows on-duty pharmacists to authorize staff to access the PMP for customers filling prescriptions.


The Maine PMP is making efforts to automatically register pharmacists into the system in conjunction with annual license renewal.  However, there’s no guarantee this will be done in time for January 2017.   As of July 2016, only half of Maine pharmacists are registered with the PMP.  Don’t wait, register now.


Pharmacists, register with the PMP here.


Pharmacy Technicians, register as a sub-account here.


Electronic Prescribing

Effective 7/1/17 – All prescribers must prescribe opioids electronically.  A waiver from DHHS must be requested if compliance cannot be met.

Of note – New York was the first state to require electronic prescribing of controlled substances.  Maine will be the second state.  As of July 2016, 94% of pharmacies and 4% of physician practices in Maine are equipped to electronically transmit controlled substance prescriptions.  If you are uncertain if your pharmacy is equipped, contact your pharmacy operating system vendor.  Arrange with your vendor for a demo, timeframe for installation, training and pricing.



Effective 12/31/17 – All prescribers of opioid medications must complete 3 hours of CME on opioids every 2 years.



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