Medical Board Seeks Input on New Opioid Prescribing CME Requirement

The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) is seeking preliminary public comment on draft rules for implementing a new state requirement that all who prescribe controlled substances obtain mandatory continuing medical education (CME) in prescribing these medications. TheĀ Board will accept public comment on the proposed rule changes until Feb. 29. Email comments and any supporting materials to [email protected]. These initial comments will be considered by the Board at their March meeting before possibly filingĀ the rule with the Rules Review Commission. Once filed with the commission, the formal rule making process will begin with an official public comment period. Watch the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Bulletin and the NCMB website for updates on that process.

Under the proposed rules, physician licensees would be required to earn three hours of Category 1 CME in controlled substances prescribing during each three-year CME cycle, and physician assistants would be required to earn two hours of controlled substances prescribing CME during their two-year cycle. CME earned may count towards the licensee’s total number of required hours for the cycle. Physicians are required to complete 60 hours of Category 1 CME earned over three years, while PAs must earn 50 hours over two years.

The rule changes do not provide detailed guidance on the content of courses to be completed. The only requirement is that course content be related to controlled substances prescribing practices, recognizing signs of abuse or misuse of controlled substances and/or controlled substances prescribing in the context of chronic pain management.

Read the proposed changes to the physician CME rule

Read the proposed changes to the PA CME rule



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  • Jerome Marchuk

    This appears to include prescriptions for testosterone hormone replacement prescriptions as well. Am I correct?

    • Yes, testosterone hormone replacement is a schedule III controlled substance. According to the NC Medical Board, the draft rule applies to all licensees who prescribe controlled substances.

  • David Ellis

    I believe this is a valuable addition to CME requirements in this day of a high level of OD deaths in all communities. That being said, I believe the Board should help practitioners identify CME programs that are either on line or written material that can be done from home to keep costs reasonable

  • B. Preecha MD MPH

    Clarification request:
    Does this new regulation pertain only to opiates and opioids? OR
    does it encompass ALL Control Substances as per schedules I, II, III, IV and V?