New Best Practice document clarifies opioid prescribing with 2019 session laws

Posted on: 6/14/19

This week, the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and other licensure boards distributed an important document to physicians clarifying some of the details around the 2018 opioid laws found in SB 848. This document is an attempt to alleviate the confusion surrounding the passage of SB 1446 (2018) and has been updated with the SB 848 (2019), which limited the writing of prescriptions of all opioids by physicians. SB 848 limits the number of prescriptions to those for acute and chronic pain.

The Best Practices document is currently endorsed by the Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA); Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA); Oklahoma Osteopathic Association (OOA); the executive staff of the Oklahoma State Medical Licensure Board; the executive staff of the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners; and many others. To download “Compliance and Best Practice for an Act Regulating the Use of Opioid Drugs – Oklahoma Senate Bills 1446 & 848,” click here.

Also available are two documents produced by OSMA: “Sample written policy for Physicians for the Qualifying Opioid Patient” and “Sample Opioid Therapy Patient-Provider Agreement.”

The “Best Practice” document represents our best efforts to describe the law on prescribing of opioids effective May 19, 2018. OHA has interpreted both SB 1466 and SB 848 to apply to all settings where a prescription is being filled at a retail pharmacy. If the patient is admitted and is only inpatient, SB 1466 and SB 848 does not apply under the language in the bill. Once the patient is discharged from acute care and is discharged as an outpatient, SB 1446 and SB 848 applies. For a bill summary of SB 848, click here.

Please note the exemptions from SB 1446 and SB 848 include patients who are receiving active treatment of cancer, in hospice, receiving palliative care, or residents of a long-term care facility. There are two sections of SB 1446 and SB 848 impacting minors – informed consent and Patient-Provider Agreements for pain management.

OHA will be posting any updated documents on the Opioid Prescribing Guidelines page, on the OHA website.

If you have any questions, contact LaWanna Halstead at or Sandra Harrison at (Sandra Harrison)