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October 11, 2007

State Medicaid Agencies Required to us Tamper-Resistant Prescription Drug Pads

PIERRE, S.D. – State Medicaid agencies will be required to use tamper-resistant prescription drug pads for outpatient drugs provided to Medicaid recipients effective April 1, 2008. This as a result of an extension granted through legislation and signed into law by the President on September 29, 2007. 

According to the federal government, a prescription pad must contain at least one of the following three characteristics to be considered tamper-resistant by April 1, 2008.

  1. An industry recognized feature designed to prevent unauthorized copying of a completed or blank prescription form; 

  2. An industry recognized feature designed to prevent modifying or erasing the information written on the prescription by the prescriber;

  3. An industry recognized feature designed to prevent the use of counterfeit prescription forms.

Initially, the federal government required all state Medicaid agencies to be compliant with one of the three characteristics listed above by October 1, 2007, given the short timeframe, it was changed to April 1, 2008. A prescription drug pad must contain all three characteristics listed above by October 1, 2008, to be considered tamper-resistant. Failure to enforce the tamper-resistant pad requirements may result in the loss of federal financial participation in the Medicaid program. 

The South Dakota Department of Social Services encourages all enrolled Medicaid providers to begin using gel ink pens. Prescriptions written with gel ink pens prevent information from being erased and meet the second required characteristic as stated above. The Department purchased an initial supply of gel ink pens and will be distributing them to all currently enrolled Medicaid providers within the next week.

Some providers may already be using tamper-resistant prescription drug pads that meet the characteristics stated above. If so, please continue to use these security measures in addition to gel ink pens. Over the course of the next six months, the Department will work with provider associations to implement prescription drug pad requirements by the April 1, 2008, compliance date.