California licensed pharmacies offering automatic prescription refill programs will have to follow new restrictions and shortcomings. California approved Board of Pharmacy regulations starting July 1, 2022.
The California Board of Pharmacy (CA BOP) indicated that the new rules responded to claims of illegal or uninvited enrollment in auto-refill programs, leading to the delivery of unwanted or unneeded medications and related disputes with refund and return policies. The board set up constraints for pharmacies with auto-refill programs to prevent auto-refills of unwanted or unnecessary prescriptions and improve patients’ protection.
Requirements of California’s New Auto-Fill Program
- The new regulations are that California will permit pharmacies to automatically refill prescriptions for patients registered in the pharmacy’s automatic refill program only if certain conditions are met, including the following:
- Giving written or electronic notice detailing the auto-refill program to the patient (or the patient’s caregiver) before a patient registers in the program for each patient’s prescriptions.
- Acquiring annual renewal approval of a patient’s involvement for each patient’s prescriptions.
- Providing written or electronic notification to the patient (or patient’s caregiver) confirming that the prescription is being refilled through the program each time a prescription is automatically refilled.
- Allowing patients to stop a prescription from automatic refill or to dis-enroll entirely from the program at any time.
- The patient or caregiver may be refunded by the pharmacy for any prescription through the program only if the pharmacy receives notification before filling the prescription.
- Licensed health facilities for inmates of an adult correctional facility or a juvenile detention facility have limited exceptions.