Monday, March 23, 2015

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Refill Reminders and Other Communications about a Drug or Biologic Currently Being Prescribed for the Individual with What Is Not Allowed from Pharmacists and Pharmacies such as:

• Communications about specific new formulations of a currently prescribed medicine.
• Communications about specific adjunctive drugs related to the currently prescribed medicine.
• Communications encouraging an individual to switch from a prescribed medicine to an alternative medicine.


Q: Must a pharmacy obtain an individual’s written authorization prior to discussing with the individual an alternative medication to the one prescribed to the individual in a face-to-face encounter?
No.  Face-to-face communications with an individual about specific products or services do not require individual authorization, even if such communications are subsidized by the third party whose product or service is being described.  See 45 CFR 164.508(a)(3)(i)(A).  Thus, a pharmacy or other covered entity may discuss with, or hand printed information to, an individual about particular medicines in a face-to-face encounter, without triggering the individual authorization requirements of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.  However, face-to-face communications do not include communications over the telephone or by e-mail or mail.

read entire guidance from US Department of Health and Human Services here

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