Pharmacy deadline for "Red Flags" rule extended

The FTC has extended to November the compliance deadline for its "Red Flag" identity theft regulation, affecting all businessess that extend credit to customers.

Pharmacies have received yet another extension of the deadline for compliance with the “Red Flags” rule requiring businesses to guard against identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency which developed the rule and is responsible for implementing it, moved the compliance deadline to November 1 from August 1.

The rule requires businesses that extend credit to customers - which, under the FTC’s definition, includes pharmacies - to develop written plans for identifying and responding to warning signs - red flags - of identity theft. Such signs include alerts, notifications, or warnings from a consumer reporting agency; suspicious documents; suspicious forms of personal identification; and notifications from customers, victims of identity theft, or law enforcement authorities about possible identity theft.

The rule was originally to take effect November 1, 2008. The deadline was subsequently extended to May 1 and then August 1.