Section 34-23-8

Substitution of drugs or brands of drugs.

No person shall dispense or cause to be dispensed a different drug or brand of drug in lieu of that ordered or prescribed without the express permission in each case of the person ordering or prescribing such drug, except as provided below:

(1) A licensed pharmacist in this state shall be permitted to select for the brand name drug product prescribed by a licensed physician or other practitioner who is located in this state and authorized by law to write prescriptions, hereinafter referred to as "practitioner," a less expensive pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent drug product containing the same active ingredient or ingredients, and of the same dosage form strength, in all cases where the practitioner expressly authorizes such selection in accordance with subdivision (4) of this section.

(2) A licensed pharmacist located in this state shall be permitted to select for the brand name drug product prescribed by a practitioner who is located in another state or licensing jurisdiction and who is authorized by the laws of that state or jurisdiction to write prescriptions, a less expensive pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent drug product containing the same active ingredient or ingredients, and of the same dosage form strength, in all cases where the out-of-state licensed physician or other practitioner does not expressly prohibit a substitution.

(3) A pharmacist shall record on the prescription form the name and manufacturer or distributor of any drug product dispensed as herein authorized.

(4) Every written prescription issued in this state by a licensed practitioner shall contain two signature lines. Under one signature line shall be printed clearly the words "dispense as written." Under the other signature line shall be printed clearly the words "product selection permitted." The practitioner shall communicate instructions to the pharmacist by signing on the appropriate line. The State Board of Pharmacy shall not promulgate any rule or regulation affecting the subject matter of this subdivision.

An oral prescription from the practitioner shall instruct the pharmacist whether or not a less expensive pharmaceutically and therapeutically equivalent drug product may be dispensed. The pharmacist shall note instructions on the file copy of the prescription and retain the prescription form for the period specified by law.

(5) Unless otherwise indicated by the practitioner, the prescription label on the dispensing container shall indicate the actual drug product dispensed, either the brand name, or if none, the generic name, and the name of the manufacturer or a reasonable abbreviation of the name of the manufacturer.

(6) This shall not be interpreted to exclude the use of a formulary or drug list as adopted and approved by a medical staff in a licensed hospital with drugs provided thereunder by procedures established for use within that licensed hospital.

(7) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of up to $1,000.

(Acts 1966, Ex. Sess., No. 205, p. 231, §18, Acts 1979, No. 79-429, p. 676, §1; Act 2002-58, p. 144, §1.)