New DEA Final Rule About the Transfer of Electronic Prescriptions of Controlled Substances

This newsletter is a contribution from Lily Stavisky, BA, BHIPP Outreach & Training Coordinator and Rheanna Platt, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and BHIPP Consultant.

A new US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) final rule became effective August 28th, 2023. The final rule is amending regulations to permit the transfer of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) in schedules II-V among DEA-registered retail pharmacies for initial filing on a one-time basis only, upon request from the patient.  The DEA clarifies that any authorized refills included on the prescription for a controlled substance in schedules III, IV, and V are transferred with the original prescription. The goal of this rule is to decrease the potential for duplicate prescriptions (and by extension, a reduction of opportunities for diversion or misuse of prescriptions).


Other requirements of the final rule are that the transfer must be communicated directly between two licensed pharmacists, the prescription must stay in its electronic form, and the contents of the prescription must be unchanged during the transmission. Moreover, the final rule stipulates that the EPCS transfer for initial dispensing is permissible only if allowable under existing State or other applicable law. In addition, the final rule outlines the information that must be recorded to document the transfer of EPCS among pharmacies for initial dispensing.


For more information about the final rule, visit the resources below. As always, BHIPP is here to support you in addressing these concerns, the warmline remains open from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday at 855-MD-BHIPP (632-4477)


1) Transfer of Electronic Prescriptions for Schedules II-V Controlled Substances Between Pharmacies for Initial Filling

2) EPCS Questions and Answers

3) 2023-15847.pdf (

4)   New DEA Rule Allows Transfer of Electronic Prescriptions for Sch. II-V Between Pharmacies for Initial Filing | Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical Licensure Commission (

5)   New DEA Rule Allows Single Electronic Transfer of Controlled Substance Prescriptions | Insights | Holland & Knight (

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Register for the next BHIPP Mental Health Crisis Training on October 6th at 12:00pm. In response to the increase in mental health crises among children and adolescents, BHIPP has expanded its services and training opportunities. The BHIPP Mental Health Crisis Training is a series of interactive, virtual learning sessions on practices, strategies, and resources to support emergency medicine and primary care professionals in addressing pediatric mental health crises. Free CME and CEU credit is available for participation.

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Join our multidisciplinary team of child behavioral health experts the second Thursday of every month from 12:00-1:00pm for virtual case-based learning and didactic presentations led by Hal Kronsberg, MD, Rick Ostrander EdD, Rheanna Platt, MD, & David Pruitt, MD. This series is great for providers who have already participated in BHIPP ECHO, or who feel like they are experienced in treating behavioral health in their practice setting and are looking to explore advanced topics. The first session will be held on October 12th at 12:00pm.


Benefits for Participants:


·   Enhance knowledge of child mental health

·   Connect with other Maryland pediatric providers in a virtual format

·   Share and discuss mental health cases with peers and subject matter experts

·   Improve confidence with managing patients with mental health diagnoses

·   Earn free CME and CEU credits



See the flyer below for a complete list of this series' dates. To discuss any questions you have, we welcome you to call us at 855-MD-BHIPP (632-4477) or email To learn more about the Project ECHO model, check out this video or visit We hope you and your care team will join our learning community! 

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BHIPP is supported by funding from the Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration and operates as a collaboration between the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Salisbury University and Morgan State University.

BHIPP and this newsletter are also supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $433,296 with approximately 20% financed by non-governmental sources. The contents of this newsletter are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, visit

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