South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
LLR-Board of Medical Examiners
Approved by the Board: May 19-21, 1997 Board meeting
Service Area: Licensure, Physicians and Compliance
Subject: Private Agreement for Licensees Being Prescribed Psychotropic Drugs
The Board discussed the fact that for the past several years the board has requested a standardize Private Agreement of any physician who, either on an application for licensure or annual reregistration form, reports that he is taking a prescribed psychotropic medication. The intent of the Board has been to encourage the licensee to stay under his attending (prescribing) physician’s care until the reason for such medication is resolved. At the point at which the attending physician no longer feels that such medication is required, the Agreement can be terminated by the Board. Until that point, however, the licensee would agree to maintain contact with his attending physician. It was noted that some physician applicants or licensees are feeling that such a requirement is to widely applied.
In considering the matter, copies of the Private Agreement form and the letter requesting the licensee’s participation, which are currently being used, were examined by the Board.
The issue of whether the Board should require such a Private Agreement with each applicant for whom such drugs are being prescribed, or whether a more narrow application should be implemented, was discussed. It was the conclusion of the Board that in cases in which an applicant or licensee indicates the use of psychotropic medications, the attending physician should be contacted by the Board and asked the following question:
Your patient has indicated that he is on psychotropic medications prescribed by you. In your considered, professional opinion, if your patient should fail to continue his medication regimen, could his resulting condition reasonably be expected to render further medical practice by him potentially dangerous to the public? It should be remembered that this Board values your opinion and intends to act largely on the basis of your recommendation. Further, if in the future, your patient’s condition deteriorates to the extent that your answer at that time would be "yes" the Board expects to be notified by you of such development immediately.