Partial Filling of Controlled Substances

Q. If a patient receives a CII controlled substance prescription and the patient’s insurance will not pay for the full amount, can the pharmacist bill part of the prescription to the insurance and have the patient pay for the remaining amount?

A. This is only allowed if the pharmacy computer system is able to retain the same prescription number.  If the pharmacy computer system assigns a new prescription number to the remaining amount, DEA considers that a refill and it may not be done.  The patient will lose the remaining tablets. 


Q. Can a pharmacist dispense a partial amount of a CIII-V prescription resulting in a greater number of dispensing than the number of refills prescribed?

A. Yes.  A refill is for the full amount prescribed.  If a partial refill is dispensed, the pharmacist must record the date, quantity dispensed, responsible pharmacist and quantity remaining.  See Questions and Answers on the DEA website (deadiversion.usdoj.gov) under “Prescriptions”


Q. Under what circumstances can a pharmacist dispense a partial amount of a CII prescription and the patient does not lose the amount remaining?

A.  902 KAR 55:095

  1. When the pharmacy is unable to supply, meaning the pharmacy is out of the medication.  The pharmacist has 72 hours to dispense the remaining amount.

  2. When the patient is terminally ill (for example in Hospice) and it is documented on the face of the prescription, the pharmacist has 60 days to dispense the full quantity of the prescription.

  3. When the patient is in a long term care facility, the pharmacist has 60 days to dispense the full quantity of the prescription. 

  4. When a patient not in a long term care facility or Hospice, or the prescribing practitioner requests, the pharmacist has up to 30 days to dispense the full quantity of the prescription.  Per DEA, the original prescription number must be retained.  Please remember, an APRN may only prescribe up to a 3 day supply of Schedule II drugs with the exception of hydrocodone/acetaminophen products and, if certified in mental health, ADD/ADHD drugs.