Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Legal Status of EPT in South Carolina

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)

minus symbol “It is unprofessional conduct for a physician to prescribe drugs to an individual without establishing a proper physician patient relationship. A proper relationship, at a minimum, requires that the physician make an informed medical judgment based on the circumstances of the situation and on his/her training and experience. This will require that the physician: (1) Personally perform an appropriate history and physical examination, make a diagnosis, and formulate a therapeutic plan. . . ; (2) Discuss with the patient the diagnosis and the evidence for it, and the risks and benefits of various treatment options; and (3) Insure the availability of the physician or coverage for the patient for appropriate follow up care.
C. Prescribing drugs to individuals the physician has never met based solely on answers to a set of questions, as is common in Internet or telephone prescribing, is inappropriate and unprofessional.”
S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 81-28

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

minus symbol Revocation of physician’s license upheld based on Board’s finding (among other charges) that physician wrote prescriptions outside of physician-patient relationship. Gale v. State Bd. of Med. Examiners, 320 S.E.2d 35 (S.C. Ct. App. 1984).

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

plus sign It is the position of the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners that Expedited Partner Therapy treatment of STDs should be used "in accordance with the most current established guidelines as published by these organizations, even in the absence of a previously-established patient-physician relationship." South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners Post Exposure Prophylaxis Policy. The "Post Exposure Prophylaxis Policy" states that EPT is "recommended by numerous medical professional and public health organizations . . . to protect specific persons from acquiring contagious/ communicable diseases from close contact with infected persons."

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

plus sign Regulations incorporated by reference include but are not limited to: (1) APHA’s CCD Manual, most current edition; (2) AAP’s "Red Book," most current edition; and (3) when necessary, the health department shall adopt other accepted national public health recommendations such as CDC guidelines, or make other policies as needed.
S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 61-20

V. Prescription requirements (Explanation)

minus symbol Prescription drug order requires full name and address of patient. S.C. Code Ann. § 40-43-86(E)(1). However, prescription label need not bear patient’s name unless the prescription order does so. S.C. Code Ann. § 39-23-50(b)(2).

minus symbol Pharmacists may compound medications for an individual patient based on the “existence of a pharmacist/patient/practitioner relationship and the presentation of a valid prescription….”
S.C. Code Ann. § 40-43-86(CC)(2)(b)

VI. Assessment of EPT’s legal status with brief comments (Explanation)

permissible EPT is permissible.

The Medical Board has expressly supported EPT and deems it an acceptable practice in accordance with established guidelines.

Status as of August 10, 2011


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