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What Does A Doctor, Dentist, Physicians Assistant, Naturopathic Doctor or Nurse Practitioner Need to Do If Prescriptions Pads Are Lost Or Stolen?

Posted by Tracy Green | Apr 23, 2019

The reporting requirements for lost or stolen prescription pads are fairly clear but sometimes providers forget to take the needed steps in order to protect themselves. If you're a provider who suspects that your prescription pads have been lost, stolen or forged, you need to take the following steps immediately:

First, the theft or loss must be reported to the local law enforcement (police or sheriff's department) as an incident report in order to protect yourself. This way, you will have proof that prescriptions written on that pad after the date the theft was reported were not written by you. You will need a law enforcement agency report number to proceed to the next step. Obtain the incident report number from your local police station.

Next, you have to report the theft or loss of any tamper-resistant prescription forms to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) program no later than three days after the discovery of the theft or loss. A law enforcement agency report number is required when submitting a report of lost or stolen prescription forms to CURES which is why the reporting above is the first step. This is set forth in California Health and Safety Code Section 11165.3. You can do this electronically by logging into your CURES account (if you have one) or by emailing [email protected] to obtain a report to file with the California Department of Justice; CURES Program; P.O. Box 160447; Sacramento, CA 95816. 

Next, make sure you notify the California State Board of Pharmacy at [email protected]. The Board of Pharmacy has a webpage listing physicians whose prescription pads have been reported stolen: The webpage is available 24/7 to pharmacists, law enforcement, and the public. We have seen physicians

Finally, it is good practice to notify your professional Board by letter on your professional letterhead and email describing the circumstances and actions you took in response to the suspected theft. For example, physicians can email the letter to [email protected] and mail the hard copy to the Medical Board of California; Central Complaint Unit; 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200; Sacramento, CA 95815.

Overall to show that you have changed your practices, review with your staff how this loss or theft could have occurred, write memoranda to staff, discipline employees if necessary and take steps in changing policies to prevent it from happening in the future. 

About the Author

Tracy Green

Past recipient of the Public Counsel Law Center's "Outstanding Advocate" Award, Tracy Green is a founding partner of Green & Associates. She combines more than 25 years of experience with a strategic...

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