New Interim Policy on the Use of Externally Supplied Medications in UC Outpatient and Clinic Settings

UC President Michael V. Drake, MD, has announced a new interim policy addressing the use of externally supplied medications in UC outpatient and clinical settings. The policy is available online and effective immediately.

This interim policy is intended to mitigate against the potential risks to patient safety, and the associated product liability risk to then University, associated with commercial health plan practices that attempt to require health care providers to accept medications procured from an external pharmacy, bypassing the UC Health pharmacy and the checks and balances that exist to ensure that each UC Health patient receives the correct medication, that the drug has been stored appropriately, and that the medication arrives at the time of the patient’s appointment to be administered to the patient.

It is the policy of the University to California that the responsibility and accountability for purchasing, mixing, and administering injectable medications to patients who receive care at University of California hospital outpatient clinics, ambulatory clinics, and student health centers, resides solely with UC Health pharmacists, and the physicians, nurses, and physician assistants who administer the drugs. In order to be able to assure the legitimacy of the original drug source and the appropriateness of subsequent storage and handling of any drug to be administered to a patient, UC Health will not administer any drug to a patient that UC Health does not purchase directly from either the manufacturer or an accredited wholesaler.

UC Health remains committed to offering the University’s self-funded plans and other health plans price transparency and predictability for plans’ coverage of—and expenditures for—injectable medications. These efforts are intended to provide health plans more predictability to manage their prescription drug benefit expenditures, which in turn will help the health plans manage costs for health insurance coverage to employers.

To view all UC Presidential Policies by subject area, please visit Local campuswide policies pertaining to the Santa Cruz campus are available at