State Board of Pharmacy: News


Important PDMP Updates

As we work together to tackle prescription drug misuse, abuse and diversion, we see PDMP utilization rates continue to increase as the database continues to serve as an important tool for meeting the standard of care for safe prescribing.

New Website

We are pleased to announce a new and improved PDMP website: colorado.gov/dora-pdmp. We listened to your challenges and ideas and hope you’ll find the new website easier to navigate and more relevant to your needs. You will be able to link to your PDMP account and access other information directly from the homepage. We also selected a new vendor, APPRISS, and will be utilizing the PMP AWARxE system. The database interface will look different and make PDMP queries easier and quicker. We encourage your continued feedback for ongoing improvement efforts.

New State Law Improves Access to PDMP

To make the PDMP more accessible and easier for health professionals to incorporate into daily use, the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation in 2017. On April 6, 2017, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-146 Access To Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which clarifies health professionals' access to the PDMP database by:

  • Allowing a health care provider with prescribing authority to query the PDMP about a current patient, including checking on drug interactions and side effects, thus making the PDMP an even more useful tool for health professionals in their clinical decision-making for patients;
  • Allowing a veterinarian with prescribing authority to query the PDMP about a current client if the veterinarian has a reasonable basis to suspect the client has committed drug abuse or has mistreated an animal; and
  • Allowing a pharmacist to query the PDMP about a current patient for whom the pharmacist is dispensing any prescription drug, rather than only patients receiving controlled substances.

The law became effective immediately, and the Division is working with the appropriate Boards to implement the new law including rulemaking, outreach and education. If you have questions about the Colorado PDMP, please contact Division staff at 303-894-5957 or pdmpinqr@state.co.us. If you need technical assistance with the PMP AWARxE system, please contact the vendor help desk at 1-855-263-6403.


Opioid Policy Stakeholder Meeting Recording - August 30

The Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) in the Department of Regulatory Agencies hosted a stakeholder meeting on August 30, 2017 in Denver to discuss potential updates to the Policy for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids (Policy).

The Colorado healthcare licensing boards continue to seek public input to understand the needs of Coloradans and the impact of the current Policy on Colorado communities. Input received at the August meeting will inform the Boards’ decision making as they begin to revise the Policy, which serves the dual purpose of treating the individual patient and improving public health. Attendees, both on-site and via webinar, shared their opinions on how revisions to the Policy will affect consumer outcomes, positively or negatively. Attendees' opinions and recommendations will help shape any final revisions of the Policy.

DPO welcomes anyone's feedback and ideas regarding the Policy. This forum followed three previous Community Meetings held in Pueblo, Greeley and Denver over the past year.

If you would like to provide comments on the Policy, please send them to holli.weaver@state.co.us. All comments will be incorporated into the official record when the Boards adopt any final revisions to the Policy. Staff will identify your comments as information received in anticipation of the development of a revised Policy.

An additional Stakeholder Meeting is planned for late September, but a date and time have not been set. Please watch this website to get the most updated information on this important topic. Questions can be sent to holli.weaver@state.co.us.


Rulemaking Hearing - Sept. 21

The Colorado State Board of Pharmacy will hold a public rulemaking hearing on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. regarding repeal, modification, amendment, revision or adoption of portions of Board Rules.

Meeting Information

The Board encourages interested parties to submit written comments regarding any of the listed rulemaking matters no later than September 14, 2017 to the following address:

State Board of Pharmacy
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202

The Board will also afford interested parties an opportunity to submit written information, data, views or arguments. Interested parties will also have an opportunity to make brief oral presentations unless the Board at its discretion determines that oral presentations are unnecessary. The rules under consideration may be changed or modified after public comment and hearing.


Colorado End-of-Life Options Act

In 2016, Colorado voters approved Proposition 106, “Access to Medical Aid In Dying,” which amends Colorado statutes to include the Colorado End-of-life Options Act at Article 48 of Title 25, C.R.S. This Act requires licensed physicians or pharmacists prescribing or dispensing aid-in-dying medication to provide the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) with certain information as outlined in the respective forms below.

Rules 6 CCR 1009-4 have been adopted by the Board of Health within CDPHE describing these reporting requirements.

The Division of Professions and Occupations (Division) advises any licensed physician or pharmacist who participates in this practice to comply with all applicable provisions of the Act and corresponding rules implemented by CDPHE. The Division further recommends that you seek the advice of your employer, insurance carrier and private counsel for matters related to this law.

Additionally, the Medical Board has provided guidance to physicians in Policy 40-6.


Free Access to PainNET System for Colorado Providers

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) has worked with the vendor of its Project ECHO Pain Management Program, Community Health Center, to expand access to the program website known as PainNET.

The PainNet website is an online learning community that aims to improve pain care expertise among primary care providers. The website is also now available to other Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) primary care medical providers (PCMPs) for free.

The PainNET learning community enables PCMPs to develop expertise to treat patients with complex chronic pain through a combination of archived Project ECHO Pain case presentations, resource libraries, community forums and expert consultations. Providers and specialists are able to communicate through discussion boards, chat rooms and direct messaging.

This is a great resource for Colorado providers to access resources that can increase their knowledge on how to manage chronic pain more effectively.

Learn More About PainNET


Members Needed for Veterinary Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee

The State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr, in conjunction with the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy, is seeking members for the new Veterinary Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee created by Senate Bill 16-062. Committee members will advise and make recommendations to the Board on applications, complaints, and rulemaking related to veterinary pharmaceuticals, providing a meaningful impact on the veterinary pharmaceutical community.

One of the three members appointed to the Committee must be a licensed veterinarian who predominantly works on large animals and be actively engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine. A second member of the Committee must be a licensed pharmaceutical wholesaler engaged in the distribution of animal drugs who is actively engaged in the practice of wholesale pharmacy, or a licensed veterinarian actively engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine. Both of these members must have at least five years' experience in Colorado and have licenses in good standing.

A final member of the Committee must have a background in agriculture and not be a pharmacist, pharmaceutical wholesaler, or veterinarian. At least one of these members shall be a person who does not do business along the Front Range. Members of the Committee will serve three-year terms, though one of the initial members will be appointed for a two-year term. Members shall serve without compensation or expense reimbursement. The Committee meets as needed prior to Board meetings, likely to be about three or four times a year.

To apply, interested parties should submit a cover letter describing their qualifications and interest, a resume or curriculum vitae, and a list of three references to keith.roehr@state.co.us with a copy to dora_pharmacyboard@state.co.us.


Shorter Application Process for Pharmacist Grads

We want to make sure all Pharmacy Interns know about some exciting changes in our application process for aspiring pharmacists. These changes streamline the process and allow new grads to enter the workforce more quickly.

Beginning May 1, 2016, applicants for a pharmacist license in Colorado will apply directly to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to take the NAPLEX and MPJE (Colorado) exams without first needing to apply for a Colorado pharmacist license. The new process  allows graduates to schedule and take the licensing exams without waiting on prior approval from DPO.  NABP will now evaluate your eligibility for the exams and determine the documentation needed to prove you have graduated from an approved school of pharmacy. To have NABP determine your eligibility, complete the NAPLEX/MPJE Eligibility Request Form and submit to NABP with the one-time $85 processing fee. NABP will also be evaluating any requests for testing accommodations. To make an accommodation request, complete and submit to NABP the Accommodation Request Form. For more information about NABP's process, see the NAPLEX - MPJE Registration Bulletin.

Additionally, a new online application provides a more user-friendly and intuitive pathway, replacing the cumbersome paper applications. Once you have passed the NAPLEX and MPJE (Colorado) and completed your 1500 experiential intern hours, you may apply for your Colorado pharmacist license. To apply, complete the PHA - Original License Score Transfer application and submit with the required fee.

We look forward to helping you join Colorado’s healthcare workforce. If you have questions, please contact us at dora_pharmacyboard@state.co.us.


Delegated Access Training Video

Please check back soon for a new training video on how to create and activate a delegate account on the PDMP.


Naloxone Standing Orders

In April 2015, Colorado passed a new law, Senate Bill 15-053, expanding access to the life-saving drug naloxone, which is used to reverse overdoses to narcotic drugs, such as certain prescription medications and heroin. As a result of the new law, a physician — or any medical professional with prescriptive authority — can write a standing order for naloxone that can be dispensed by other designed individuals (such as pharmacists and harm reduction organizations). 

With these standing orders, pharmacists and harm reduction organizations can now provide naloxone to those who might benefit from it the most, including:

  • A family member, friend or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of overdose
  • An employee or volunteer of a harm reduction organization
  • A first responder
  • An individual at risk of overdose

View more information and access resources for Naloxone Standing Orders.


Opioid Dispensing Policy

Effective July 24, 2014, the Board adopted a policy for the prescribing and dispensing of opioids, part of a collaborative effort with the Quad-Regulator Boards as one part of a statewide solution to reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse. The Quad-Regulator Boards include the Colorado Medical Board, the Colorado State Board of Nursing, the Colorado Board of Pharmacy, and the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners, facilitated by the Nurse-Physician Advisory Task Force for Colorado Healthcare (NPATCH). Other boards that license prescribers of controlled substances also adopted the policy, including the State Board of Optometry and the Colorado Podiatry Board, while the State Board of Veterinary Medicine endorsed the policy.

The development of a joint policy by multiple regulatory boards is a first. For that reason, the policy was drafted through an open process that allowed for full consideration of stakeholder views through multiple public meetings held from February to July 2014. 

View the Opioid Policy unanimously adopted by the Quad-Regulators and other boards:


Implementation Status of HB 14-1283 (Concerning Modifications to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program)

HB 14-1283 makes several modifications to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program that will require updating the online PDMP system and notifying prescribers and dispensers (as well as those who receive delegated access to the PDMP) of the provisions of this bill.

View the Memo: Implementation Status of HB 14-1283 (Concerning Modifications to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.


HB 14-1173 Sunset Controlled Substances Abuse Act

HB 14-1173 extends the Colorado Licensing of Controlled Substances Act until 2025. While the provisions of this bill fall under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), a portion of the act affects the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) administered by DORA’s Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO). Implementation of this bill will primarily occur at CDHS, however DPO is tasked with updating the PDMP online system. The updates required of the PDMP system and rules are also required by HB14-1283, which establishes a deadline of January 1, 2015.