By The Office of Sen. Jeff Stone

Senate Bill 569 by Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta, allows pharmacists to dispense controlled substance without a security form during a declared disaster. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The bill had previously passed both the California Assembly and the Senate unanimously.

The California State Board of Pharmacy received information on challenges during recent declared disasters, including the recent Camp Fire. During this fire, many individuals were displaced and significant damage occurred to infrastructure and healthcare facilities. One of the challenges identified to the Board of Pharmacy was limited access to prescription medications including controlled medications for pain, ADHD, depression and anxiety treatment.

Existing law establishes requirements for controlled substance security forms, including required elements that must be included on the printed security form. However, there is currently no exemption from these requirements for a declared disaster. In addition, during a declared disaster, many patient care areas occur in emergency shelters, public schools and even churches. These non-traditional medical patient care settings may not have access to compliant controlled substance security forms.

Senate Bill 569 fixes this by creating a limited exemption to the controlled substance forms requirements during the initial phase of a local, state or federal declared disaster.

“I thank the governor and the legislature for their support of this important legislation that will help those who have experienced a disaster,” concluded Stone.