90-85.36.  Availability of pharmacy records.

(a)        Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) below, written or electronic prescription orders on file in a pharmacy or other place where prescriptions are dispensed are not public records and any person having custody of or access to the prescription orders may divulge the contents or provide a copy only to the following persons:

(1)        An adult patient for whom the prescription was issued or a person who is legally appointed guardian of that person;

(2)        An emancipated minor patient for whom the prescription order was issued or a person who is the legally appointed guardian of that patient;

(3)        An unemancipated minor patient for whom the prescription order was issued when the minor's consent is sufficient to authorize treatment of the condition for which the prescription was issued;

(4)        A parent or person in loco parentis of an unemancipated minor patient for whom the prescription order was issued when the minor's consent is not sufficient to authorize treatment for the condition for which the prescription is issued;

(5)        The licensed practitioner who issued the prescription;

(6)        The licensed practitioner who is treating the patient for whom the prescription was issued;

(7)        A pharmacist who is providing pharmacy services to the patient for whom the prescription was issued;

(8)        Anyone who presents a written authorization for the release of pharmacy information signed by the patient or his legal representative;

(9)        Any person authorized by subpoena, court order or statute;

(10)      Any firm, association, partnership, business trust, corporation or company charged by law or by contract with the responsibility of providing for or paying for medical care for the patient for whom the prescription order was issued;

(11)      A member or designated employee of the Board;

(12)      The executor, administrator or spouse of a deceased patient for whom the prescription order was issued;

(13)      Researchers and surveyors who have approval from the Board. The Board shall issue this approval when it determines that there are adequate safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information contained in the prescription orders and that the researchers or surveyors will not publicly disclose any information that identifies any person;

(14)      The person owning the pharmacy or his authorized agent; or

(15)      A HIPAA covered entity, or business associate described in 45 C.F.R. 160.103, or a health care provider who is not a covered entity, for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations to the extent that disclosure is permitted or required by applicable State or federal law.

(b)        A pharmacist may disclose any information to any person only when he reasonably determines that the disclosure is necessary to protect the life or health of any person.

(c)        Records required to be kept by G.S. 90-93(d) (Schedule V) are not public records and shall be disclosed at the pharmacist's discretion.  (1905, c. 108, s. 21; Rev., s. 4490; C.S., s. 6666; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1188, s. 1; 1991, c. 125, s. 3; 2011-314, s. 1.)