Will E-Prescribing Bill Help Curb Opioid Abuse?

May 4, 2018

NACDS is welcoming a recent bill mandating e-prescribing.

NACDS is praising a bill, recently passed in a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, that would require electronic prescribing of Schedules II through V controlled substances.

The Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, (H.R. 3528), which will help prevent fraud and abuse of opioids, according to NACDS.

“NACDS’ policy recommendations to help further address the opioid abuse epidemic were crafted based on pharmacists’ experience on the front lines of healthcare delivery,” says NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “We appreciate the Health Subcommittee’s action on the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, and NACDS will remain highly engaged to help advance this and other important steps to protect the health, wellness, and safety of individuals, families, and neighborhoods.”

A majority of Americans (76%) support rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than by paper or fax, as a way to help address the opioid epidemic, according to a survey commissioned by NACDS earlier this year.

Related article: Clearer Sigs Can Reduce Errors in E-Prescribing

“Prescribers can more easily track the controlled substance prescriptions a patient has received. Additionally, electronic controlled substance prescriptions cannot be altered, cannot be copied, and are electronically trackable,” Anderson wrote in a letter to legislators earlier this year. “Furthermore, the federal DEA rules for electronic controlled substances prescriptions establish strict security measures, such as two-factor authentication, that reduce the likelihood of fraudulent prescriptions.”

Expanding electronic prescribing for controlled substances is among the policy recommendations issued by NACDS to complement longstanding and ongoing pharmacy initiatives to prevent opioid abuse, including compliance programs, drug disposal, patient education, security initiatives, fostering naloxone access, and stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics.

The Senate companion legislation of the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act is S. 2460.