Medical Professional Publications

OARRS Policy Update

(From the May 2016 Issue of MedStat)

Regulatory Corner

The Board of Medical Pharmacy for the State of Ohio has updated the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System requirements.

The OARRS report must be obtained in the following circumstances:

  • If prescribing an opioid analgesic or a benzodiazepine, an OARRS report must be obtained prior to initially prescribing, and every 90 days thereafter.
  • If prescribing any other reported drug (Schedule II-V and controlled substances containing carisoprodol or tramadol), an OARRS report must be obtained if the patient’s course of treatment has lasted more than 90 days, and at least annually thereafter.

This is a change from the previous law that required an OARRS report to be obtained if the prescriber had reason to believe that the patient would use the drug for a continuous period of 12 weeks or longer.

The Ohio State Medical Board has added new Red Flags that trigger an OARRS report requirement:

  • Suffering an overdose, intentional or unintentional
  • Traveling with a group of other patients to the physician’s office where all or most of the patients request controlled substance prescriptions
  • Traveling an extended distance or from out of state to the physician’s office
  • A known history of chemical abuse or dependency o Appearing impaired or overly sedated during an office visit or exam
  • Requesting Reported Drugs by street name, color, or identifying marks
  • Frequently requesting early refills of Reported Drugs
  • Frequently losing prescriptions for Reported Drugs
  • A history of illegal drug use o Sharing Reported Drugs with another person
  • Recurring visits to non-coordinated sites of care, such as emergency departments, urgent care facilities, or walk-in clinics to obtain Reported Drugs

For a complete list of OARRS Report Red Flags, visit

If you have any questions about OARRS reporting, please contact Sara Evans, JD, in legal services at (614) 722-3960 or or Rick McClead, MD, at (614) 722-4535 or

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