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Contact with patients before prescribing

Prescriptions and Controlled Substances

Adopted: Tue, 2011-02-22

Back to Position Statements

Reviewed 2014-11-13 - no changes

It is the position of the North Carolina Board of Podiatry Examiners that prescribing drugs to an individual the prescriber has not personally examined is inappropriate except as noted in the paragraphs below. Before prescribing a drug, a licensee should make an informed medical judgment based on the circumstances of the situation and on his or her training and experience. Ordinarily, this will require that the licensee personally perform an appropriate history and physical examination, make a diagnosis, and formulate a therapeutic plan, a part of which might be a prescription. This process must be documented appropriately.

Prescribing for a patient whom the licensee has not personally examined may be suitable under certain circumstances. These may include admission orders for a newly hospitalized patient, prescribing for a patient of another licensee for whom the prescriber is taking call, or continuing medication on a short-term basis for a new patient prior to the patient's first appointment. Established patients may not require a new history and physical examination for each new prescription, depending on good medical practice.

It is the position of the Board that prescribing drugs to individuals the licensee has never met based solely on answers to a set of questions, as is common in Internet or toll-free telephone prescribing, is inappropriate and unprofessional.