The Compassionate Care Act, signed into law on July 5, 2014, will enable patients with a “serious condition” to receive medical cannabis if the qualified certifying physician believes the patient will receive “therapeutic or palliative benefit”. Unlike other states, New York will only permit refined dosage forms, specifically eliminating the crude delivery method of smoking. The Department of Health (“DoH”) published regulations further clarifying specific details necessary for safe, secure, and responsible implementation of this new therapy. It is important to realize that virtually all of New York’s practicing pharmacists will be involved in the care of patients receiving medical cannabis.
As of December 2018, unvaccinated healthcare workers in New York State must now wear masks when working with patients due to the current rise of influenza around the state. The updated news release can be found here.
This rule first went into effect in 2014, when the commissioner required the use of surgical/procedural masks during times of high influenza prevalence. Exceptions to this rule may be found in Title 10 section 2.59 of the public health law. The reinstated regulation will serve to protect at-risk patients in New York State, and the NYS Department of Health encourages any patients older than 6 months old to receive the flu vaccine during this time.
Additionally, NYSDOH has also launched the NYS Flu Tracker to help the public stay informed about rates of influenza in their counties. It is regularly updated every day at 5 p.m., and will help keep the public aware of local influenza activity.
Federal law prohibits buying controlled substances such as narcotic pain relievers, sedatives , stimulants (and anabolic steroids without a valid prescription from your doctor. This means there must be a real doctor-patient relationship, which by most state laws requires a physical examination. Prescriptions written by "cyber doctors" relying on online questionnaires are not legitimate under the law.
Buying controlled substances online without a valid prescription may be punishable by imprisonment under Federal law.
Public access to dextromethorphan has become increasingly more restricted, with recent concerns over its abuse. Current restrictions hold that any establishment selling products with dextromethorphan as an active ingredient must require a prescription for sales to anyone under the age of 18, as well as legal proof of age for purchasers over 18. Proof of legal age is not required for consumers who looks at least 25 years of age; however, this will not serve as a defense for an unlawful sale to an individual under the age of 18. Violations of these provisions will result in fines of $250 per violation. For further information, see Article 26 of the General Business Law, Section 391-S.