On the other hand, pharmacists generally like the new regulations. Di Luca said pharmacists like the e-prescribing regulations because it improves patient safety. “With I-STOP, we have seen a dramatic drop in opioid scripts, in general, because prescribers can see in real time what the patient has at home, and they don't feel obligated to just give them a small script.
We used to get a lot of RXs for five or seven day supplies to appease patients or to avoid risking not treating them properly.
The law limits consumers from shopping for the best pharmacy to fill their scripts, and the Medical Society of The State of New York said the law is burdensome and costly to prescribers, especially those who do not prescribe a lot of prescriptions yet are still required to comply.
Prescribers can apply for waivers, but it is a cumbersome process that is required each year. Ph., director of pharmacy services at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, NY, said the health system worked with its electronic health records vendor, Cerner, to accommodate the new requirements.
The second phase was to take effect in 2015, but lawmakers delayed its implementation for one year to allow pharmacies and prescribers additional time to update systems and gain authorization.
All vendors are required to obtain federal certification of the electronic health record software technology used to transmit the prescriptions.
As of March 1, seven states (NY, ME, RI, NC, VA, CT, and AZ) have already passed EPCS mandates, and 13 states have introduced EPCS mandates (CA, MD, GA, OK, IN, TN, SC, MA, PA, NJ, IL, TX, and MI.). And not a moment too soon: In 2016 alone, an average of 116 people per day died from opioid-related drug overdoses, and 11.5 million people misused prescription opioids.
With more than 40 million people nationwide enrolled in a part D plan, the Senate legislation would require EPCS to be in place at nearly all hospitals and healthcare delivery organizations across the U. The Senate’s EPCS Act already has companion legislation underway in the U. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb endorsed the Clark-Mullin EPCS bill last month.
Congress is also expected to pass a healthcare package addressing the opioid crisis this year.
There could be a long road to adopting this practice in some regions, but New York, Minnesota, and Maine already require e-prescribing.
Several other states including California, Missouri, and Vermont are considering similar legislation.