Are You Ready for Changes to Opioid Prescribing in Texas?
By David Doolittle


Update June 19:

Initially, all Texas prescribers had until Sept. 1 to set up a PMP Aware account. However, thanks to TMA advocacy, lawmakers recently passed a bill that pushed back that deadline to March 1, 2020. House Bill 3284 – by Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville) – was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 14.

Original story:

In case you didn’t know, several changes to the state’s prescription process for certain controlled substances are taking place.

Since September, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) has been issuing new official prescription forms that include advanced security features designed to help deter fraud.

Each form contains: 

  • Control Number: This number is located on the uppermost portion of the form just above the line for the patient’s name and is unique for each prescription form. This number must be reported in the record transmitted when a Schedule II (C-II) prescription is dispensed.
  • Pantograph: This security feature produces the word “VOID” multiple times on the face of the prescription form when someone attempts to copy or scan the prescription. 
  • Thermochromic ink: A thermochromic feature will appear on the front of the new prescription form as a red “Rx.” Applying heat or vigorously rubbing the area between the thumb and forefinger will cause the red Rx to disappear briefly then reappear. On the older versions, the thermochromic feature is located on the back as a red check. 
  • Watermark: The seal of the State of Texas appears as a watermark on the face of the prescription. Also, holding the new form to a light will show a watermark within the body of the paper. 

Effective June 1, 2019, official prescription forms ordered prior to Sept. 1, 2018, will no longer be valid, the pharmacy board says.

Beginning Sept. 1, 2019 (that's next year), all prescribers will be required to set up an account with the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP), known as PMP Aware. An account allows physicians to check a patient’s prescription history for information that indicates illicit activity, drug abuse, drug diversion, or doctor shopping. 

To receive help or instructions from TSBP in setting up your account, call (512) 305-8050 or email texaspmp[at]pharmacy[dot]texas[dot]gov.

Check out this TMA video with TSBP's Allison Benz for a primer on how to use the state's PMP.

This story has been updated with a new deadline for when old prescription forms will be valid.

Last Updated On

October 14, 2022

Originally Published On

August 22, 2018