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Legal Status of EPT in Maryland

permissible EPT is permissible.

I. Statutes/regs on health care providers’ authority to prescribe for STDs to a patient’s partner(s) w/out prior evaluation (Explanation)

plus sign Certain health care providers are authorized to dispense or otherwise provide certain antibiotic therapy to partners of patients diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea without making a personal physical assessment of the partner.  Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. §18-214.1. Note: The above provision requires the Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene to “adopt regulations to implement the requirements of this section in public and private health care settings in the State,” and these regulations are not yet published.

minus symbol Physician may only dispense prescription drug to physician’s patient, unless prescription is a starter dose, sample, or at non-profit or public health clinic. Md. Code Ann., Health Occ. § 12-102.
Note, the above provision does not apply to providing a prescription order to a patient.

minus symbol Per Maryland Code of Regulations: Board of Physicians: A licensee shall dispense prescription drugs only to the patients of the licensee, and dispense drugs to a patient only when a pharmacy is not conveniently available to the patient. Md. Code Regs.

II. Specific judicial decisions concerning EPT (or like practices) (Explanation)

III. Specific administrative opinions by the Attorney General or medical or pharmacy boards concerning EPT (or like practices) (Explanation)

minus symbol A physician who prescribes naloxone—a non-controlled substance—to a patient to give to another heroin user in the event of an overdose would be subject to criminal prosecution and disciplinary action for aiding unauthorized practice of medicine and for violating applicable laws. 88 Op. Att’y Gen. Md. 03-009 (2003).


minus symbol No single State law specifies the contents of a valid prescription. However, the necessary elements of a prescription may be inferred from statutes that govern the dispensing and labeling of prescription drugs. Generally, a prescription will include the identity of the patient…. See Md. Code Ann., Health Occ. § 12-504 (circumstances under which pharmacist may substitute generically equivalent drug of "same dosage form and strength" for specified brand name drug); Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 21-221(a) ("if stated in the prescription," a dispensed drug must be labeled with the name of the patient, any directions for use, and any cautionary statements); 01 Op. Att’y Gen. Md. 01-026 (2001).

minus symbol The Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance expressed concern about internet prescribing. It questioned the existence of a bona fide doctor/patient relationship when a person, previously unknown to the physician, provides subjective answers to questions via an online questionnaire and the physician provides prescriptions medications.

minus symbol The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended the license of a physician pursuant to a Consent Order of the North Carolina Board sanctioning the physician for authorizing prescriptions without a physical examination and without any prior physician-patient relationship.

IV. Laws that incorporate via reference guidelines as acceptable practices (including EPT) (Explanation)

plus sign The secretary or health officer shall take any action necessary to prevent the spread of a communicable disease and shall issue special instructions, when necessary, for the control of a disease or condition. Md. Code Regs. §


plus sign Regulations incorporate by reference: APHA CCD Manual, 19th Edition, 2008, except where such recommendations conflict with health regulations. Md. Code Regs. §§,,

V. Prescription requirements (Explanation) plus sign Prescription need not bear patient’s name. However if name is provided on prescription, label must bear the name of the patient. Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 21-221.
VI. Assessment of EPT’s legal status with brief comments (Explanation)

permissible EPT is permissible in Maryland.

Statutory authority expressly authorizes certain providers to provide EPT for chlamydia and gonorrhea.  The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is required to adopt regulations in implementation of EPT in private health care settings in the State, but these regulations are not yet published.

Status as of June 1, 2015


plus sign supports the use of EPT

minus symbol negatively affects the use of EPT

permissible EPT is permissible

potentially allowable EPT is potentially allowable

prohibited EPT is prohibited