State Board of Pharmacy: News


Board Work Group Meeting - Dec. 5

The Board Member Work Group that is working on revisions to the Policy for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids will meet to review stakeholder feedback and make necessary revisions to the proposed draft. This meeting is open to the public and the agenda will include a public comment period.

Meeting Information

Two Ways to Participate

  1. In Person: Civic Center Plaza, 1560 Broadway, Conference Room 1250 C, Denver, CO 80202.
  2. By Webinar: Register at the following link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3020151020581800706

Prior Stakeholder Meeting Recordings Available

The Division of Professions and Occupations hosted two stakeholder meetings on October 27 and November 14 in Denver to discuss potential updates to the Policy for Prescribing and Dispensing Opioids.

These forums follow four previous Community Meetings held in Pueblo, Greeley and Denver over the past year.


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.


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


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.


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: