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FAQ 1515 Do communications about recently lapsed prescriptions fall with the refill reminder?

This is a FAQ about HIPAA and marketing.


Issued by: Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

Do communications about recently-lapsed prescriptions for a medicine fall within the “refill reminder” exception to marketing?


Yes, so long the prescription lapsed within the last 90 calendar days and any financial remuneration received in exchange for making the communication is reasonably related to the covered entity’s cost of making the communication.  Communications encouraging individuals to renew recently lapsed prescriptions are consistent with the purpose of refill reminder and medication adherence communications, which is to encourage individuals to continue to take their medication as directed.  However, once a prescription has lapsed for more than 90 calendar days, it is no longer reasonable to treat such communications as refill reminders or medication adherence communications for a currently prescribed drug or biologic.

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