NC Medical Board to Continue Discussion on Self-Treatment Position Statement, Moves Forward With Rule

At its September meeting, the North Carolina Medical Board Policy Committee discussed at length its current position statement regarding Self-Treatment and Treatment of Family Members and Others with Whom Significant Emotional Relationships Exist. The committee reported receiving more than 1,000 comments from licensees regarding the position statement with concerns being expressed both in favor of and in opposition to revising the statement.

You can view the proposed changes to the position statement on page 8 of the Policy Committee agenda, by clicking here. However, after much discussion the committee agreed to table this item and re-write the proposed position statement for a second time. A new draft will be presented at the November 2011 committee meeting.

In the meantime the committee agreed to move forward in filing a rule prohibiting licensees from prescribing controlled substances for their own use or for the use of the licensee’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, parent-in-law, son or daughter-in-law, brother or sister-in-law, step-parent, step-child, step-sibling, or any other person living in the same residence as the licensee, or anyone with whom the physician is having a sexual relationship. 

As this proposal is filed and moved through the rule-making process, there will be additional opportunity for public comment – NCMS staff will notify members in the Bulletin when such opportunities become available.


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  • Lilia Repnikova, PA-C

    I agree with Michael Tooke. I also believe that liscencees should be allowed to treat and prescribe for themselves or family with exception of controlled substances (need to be spesific as far as listing the schedules) When I read the revised statement, I do not see any changes to reflect the opinions of the most liscencees. There is only minor change in wording. What a waist of time and money when more important issues exist.

  • Teresa Sue Bratton

    I wonder why this policy is being pursued other than to decrease inappropriate prescription of a controlled substance. In more rural areas physicians perforce become the provider for family members. You seem to be implying that even if a medical record is created and even if the physician and family member create a doctor-patient relationship for the purposes of health care, a crime is being committed. Please explain your thinking.

  • Eugene M. Bozymski

    Narcotics are a “No Brainer”, but making rules concerning refilling meds that a family member has taken for years on Rx from their MD really places the Board in a position that is not tenable. I would be pleased to discuss this with the Board but there are much more important issues on which they should be spending their time.

  • Mahendra Patel

    Agree with Michael Tooke, especially the fact that The Board has to assume that we all do not know how to conduct ourselves.

  • I think it is quite important that the NCMB emphasize that it is issuing guidelines regarding prescribing Schedule II drugs, and not simply sate “controlled substances” as technically all prescribed medications are, by definition, controlled substances. By passing over-restrictive regulations, the Board may delegate physicians, their families and loved ones to second-class citizenship, forbidden to receive urgent care in the most efficient manner. For example, a few days ago my wife had a migraine. It was the weekend and we were out of our triptan product. The local urgent care was open and the local ED was open but both cost hugely in time and money. Why can’t I call in a prescription for a medication she has used safely for years? Another example was when my grandson had an attack of astma and needed a refill on his bronchodilator during the weekend. Don’t regulate my family to a lower standard of care!When you write restrictive regulations, be careful of every word!. Griff Steel, MD New Bern

  • Jesse Meredith

    One of my friend’s wife who was addicted by her physician husband died when her source of narcotics also died ,therefore I think we should be pro hibited from prescribing narcotics for our families,On theothrehand,restricting all prescriptions is different.

  • Michael Tooke

    My view is that the rule should me made simple and credible. I think that the use of the term “minor illness” is not definable. I practiced in California for most of 25 years and as far as I know Narcotics are the only drugs which we are not allowed to self-prescribe. How rediculous is it to not be able to refill your own blood pressure medication that you’ve been taking for 10 years at the same dose, or to treat your own child’s otitis media when the child is crying his/her eyes out at midnight and you’ve looked at his/hers injected ear drum; or to deal with your wife’s acute back pain on a weekend; without going and spending half the day in an ER. I don’t think that the NC Board has to assume that we all do not know how to conduct ourselves. There are plenty of more important issues which need to be addressed, which in my opinion includes the management of chronic pain patients with an obvious narcotic addiction problem. If the board would issue enforceable guidelines which would get us “off the hook” with some of these manipulative addicted people, it would be doing something useful. It would be very valuable if we could tell these people “I just cannot prescribe what you want, or I’ll be putting my license in jeopardy.” Instead we have to deal with the federal government view that pain is inadequately treated and there is too much of it. Giving us definable tools to use in holding the line on these patients would benefit society greatly. I think that the dealing with the issue of self-prescribing and prescribing for one’s own family, especially when it gets as far out as in-laws, is in the realm of solving problems which do not exist. It would be really nice if the board would do something which would help us. MT