Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 85. Board of Medicine
Chapter 50. Regulations Governing the Practice of Physician Assistants

18VAC85-50-181. Pharmacotherapy for weight loss.

A. A practitioner shall not prescribe amphetamine, Schedule II, for the purpose of weight reduction or control.

B. A practitioner shall not prescribe controlled substances, Schedules III through VI, for the purpose of weight reduction or control in the treatment of obesity, unless the following conditions are met:

1. An appropriate history and physical examination are performed and recorded at the time of initiation of pharmacotherapy for obesity by the prescribing physician, and the physician reviews the results of laboratory work, as indicated, including testing for thyroid function;

2. If the drug to be prescribed could adversely affect cardiac function, the physician shall review the results of an electrocardiogram performed and interpreted within 90 days of initial prescribing for treatment of obesity;

3. A diet and exercise program for weight loss is prescribed and recorded;

4. The patient is seen within the first 30 days following initiation of pharmacotherapy for weight loss, by the prescribing physician or a licensed practitioner with prescriptive authority working under the supervision of the prescribing physician, at which time a recording shall be made of blood pressure, pulse, and any other tests as may be necessary for monitoring potential adverse effects of drug therapy; and

5. The treating physician shall direct the follow-up care, including the intervals for patient visits and the continuation of or any subsequent changes in pharmacotherapy. Continuation of prescribing for treatment of obesity shall occur only if the patient has continued progress toward achieving or maintaining a target weight and has no significant adverse effects from the prescribed program.

C. If specifically authorized in his practice agreement with a patient care team physician, a physician assistant may perform the physical examination, review tests, and prescribe Schedules III through VI controlled substances for treatment of obesity as specified in subsection B of this section.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 1, eff. October 19, 2005; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. March 16, 2021.

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