COVID-19: Prescription drugs

COVID-19: Prescription drugs

On April 6, Governor Polis issued Executive Order 2020 029 to amend and extend the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statues due to COVID-19. Click here to read the governor’s full order.

  • How does this order impact veterinarians?
    • The order temporarily suspends a provision in C.R.S. § 12-315-112(1)(y) that creates a basis for discipline against a licensed veterinarian for distributing a prescription drug outside of a VCPR. This permits a licensed veterinarian to donate or sell to the State of Colorado or any licensed healthcare facility in Colorado any currently unneeded prescription drugs that the licensed veterinarian has in the practice.
  • When does this order expire?
    • This order  is in effect until April 30.
  • Are changes to these regulations expected to stay in effect long-term?
    • No. All changes (state and federal) have been indicated for the duration of this emergency only.
  • Do DEA requirements still apply?
    • DEA has not yet addressed this specific topic and current DEA rules still apply. The DEA has, however, addressed issuance of prescriptions for controlled substances using telemedicine. Following the declaration of a public health emergency by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on January 31, the DEA worked with DHHS to allow DEA-registered practitioners to begin issuing prescriptions for controlled substances to patients that were not the subject of an in-person medical evaluation. DEA-registered practitioners, which—by definition—includes veterinarians, have been advised that they may issue controlled substance prescriptions via telemedicine for the duration of the emergency declaration (i.e., this is a temporary exception) if the following conditions are met:
      • Prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice.
      • The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system.
      • The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable federal and state law.


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