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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 19D: Supply limitations for opiate prescriptions; exception for palliative care

Section 19D. (a) When issuing a prescription for an opiate to an adult patient for outpatient use for the first time, a practitioner shall not issue a prescription for more than a 7–day supply. A practitioner shall not issue an opiate prescription to a minor for more than a 7–day supply at any time and shall discuss with the parent or guardian of the minor the risks associated with opiate use and the reasons why the prescription is necessary.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), if, in the professional medical judgment of a practitioner, more than a 7–day supply of an opiate is required to treat the adult or minor patient's acute medical condition or is necessary for the treatment of chronic pain management, pain associated with a cancer diagnoses or for palliative care, then the practitioner may issue a prescription for the quantity needed to treat such acute medical condition, chronic pain, pain associated with a cancer diagnosis or pain experienced while the patient is in palliative care. The condition triggering the prescription of an opiate for more than a 7–day supply shall be documented in the patient's medical record and the practitioner shall indicate that a non-opiate alternative was not appropriate to address the medical condition.

(c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and subsection (b), this section shall not apply to medications designed for the treatment of substance abuse or opioid dependence.