Calif Dentists New Prescribing Laws | Jan 1 2022

The Dental Board of California is reminding prescribers of the upcoming e-prescribing requirements established by Assembly Bill (AB) 2789 (Wood, 2018).

Beginning January 1, 2022, all prescriptions issued by a licensed healthcare practitioner to a California pharmacy must be submitted electronically.

Healthcare practitioners who fail to meet the requirements of AB 2789, may be subject to disciplinary action.

The law provides certain exemptions, including if transmission of the prescription is temporarily unavailable because of technological or electrical failure; if the prescription is dispensed by a pharmacy located outside California; or if the prescription is issued to a patient who has a terminal illness pursuant to Section 11159.2 of the Health and Safety Code. The complete list of exemptions is included within Business and Professions Code section 688.

Under this law, a healthcare practitioner who does not issue a controlled substance prescription as an electronic data transmission prescription due to technological or electrical failure shall document the reason in the patient’s medical record as soon as practicable, and within 72 hours of the end of the technological or electrical failure.

Although prescriptions will be issued electronically, the Board recommends that all licensed prescribers have paper prescription forms available that meet the requirements of AB 149 should a technological or electrical failure prevent a prescription from being issued electronically. A list of the approved security prescription printers is available on the State Attorney General’s website.

Additional Resources:
•       For additional information about the requirements, please visit the California Legislation Information webpage – AB 2789.
•       For information about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances procedures, visit
Back to blog