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By the Copy Center and Pharmaceutical Services

 Prescription Pads
State and Federal Rules VUMC Implementation Other Rx Information

State and Federal Rules on Secure Prescription Paper

Beginning July 1, 2009, a Tennessee state law came into effect requiring written prescriptions to be on tamper-resistant paper.  This law builds on the pre-existing federal guidelines for Medicaid prescriptions and has the same security requirements.  We have posted a PDF copy of the new law here.

Certain exceptions do apply as explicitly set out in the legislation:

SECTION 9. The provisions of this act shall not apply to prescriptions 
written for inpatients of a hospital, outpatients of a hospital where 
the doctor, or other person authorized to write prescriptions, writes 
the order into the hospital medical record and then the order is given 
directly to the hospital pharmacy and the patient never has the opportunity 
to handle the written order, a nursing home or an assisted care living facility
as defined in § 68-11-201 or inpatients or residents of a mental health hospital
or residential facility licensed under Title 33 or individuals incarcerated 
in a local, state or federal correctional facility.

The state rule also requires manufacturers of secure prescription paper to undergo an SAS-70 audit to verify that their handling of such paper is proper and secure.  As we understand it, the state is still formulating guidelines to document compliance with this provision.  Our paper vendor has advised us that they expect to be compliant and will document this for us once the state procedures are clarified.

State and Federal Rules VUMC Implementation Other Rx Information


Virtually all personalized prescription pads, as well as our generic pad (MC0024), produced by the Copy Center have been compliant with current standards since 2008. Our tamper-resistant paper has a purplish-rose tint, and carries a list of security features on the back side.

This special paper is designed to help combat prescription fraud by resisting:

1) unauthorized copying;
2) erasure or modification;
3) counterfeiting.

The following document gives specific information on the chief security features provided—these features are listed, as required, on the back of each sheet in the pad:

Security Features of Rx Paper Used by Copy Center (PDF)

Obsolete pads should be disposed of securely.  For departments using the Shred-It service, this would be a secure method.  If you do not have access to this service, on request the Copy Center will accept old pads to be cut up and disposed of without charge.  Pads should not be placed in the paper recycling bins around campus without first being cut up or otherwise marked or mutilated to put them beyond use.

Note on older pads:

The first batch of secure paper we received in early 2007 did not list the security features on the back, as this was not required at that time. If you still have pads printed two years or so ago, please check the back side for the list of secure features. If that list does not appear, the pad does not meet current standards and must be discarded. The below illustrates the difference:

For questions, or to order pads, please contact:

State and Federal Rules VUMC Implementation Other Rx Information



On March 27, 2008, VMG issued the following guidance on this subject:

"If using Rx Star, the new regulation does not apply to prescriptions that are faxed or phoned in, so that method also requires no change.  However, when printing from Rx Star, a warning will appear on the screen before printing to indicate that tamper resistant paper should be used."   

Clinics may obtain secure paper by faxing an 1180 to Tim Jones, 2-6177. They are delivered as packs of 50 under MC 8000.  Paper will then be delivered by the Copy Center.

Multipart Rx Forms

The Copy Center has access to secure 2-part paper if multipart pads are desired.  The only color sequence currently available, however, is blue/top copy and yellow/second copy.  (The top copy is actually a purplish blue.)

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