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Legal Status of EPT in South Carolina

prohibited EPT is prohibited.

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)


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)

prohibited EPT is prohibited.

Statutory authority, case law, and administrative regulations require a physician to conduct a physical exam prior to prescribing any drugs. The physician and the dispensing pharmacist may not knowingly allow a third-party who was not the physician’s patient to procure a prescription drug. There is no express indication that the CDC STD Treatment Guidelines are incorporated by reference, although the incorporation by reference of the APHA’s CCD Guidelines and other “accepted national public health recommendations such as CDC guidelines” provides an opening to reconsider this assessment..

Status as of February 7, 2013


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