NACDS praises the enactment of an electronic prescribing bill (SB 174), for controlled substance prescriptions for Schedule II through Schedule VI, which will help prevent opioid abuse. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed the bill into law March 13, which will become effective January 1, 2021.
- NACDS recognizes the leadership of State Sen. Kim Hammer (R), sponsor of the Senate bill; State Rep. Justin Boyd (R), a pharmacist and sponsor of the bill in the House; Kirk Lane, Arkansas drug director; and the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, who were all instrumental in getting the legislation passed.
- A January 2019 survey, conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, found that 64 percent of Arkansas registered voters support rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than by paper or fax, to reduce the likelihood of fraud and abuse. Only 20 percent indicated opposition.
- The new law continues a trend of the enactment of mandatory electronic prescribing across the states, and it also builds on federal legislation enacted in 2018 that requires electronic prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances prescriptions covered under Medicare Part D to help prevent fraud, abuse and waste – with limited exceptions to ensure patient access.
- NACDS was on the leading edge of working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances. Until 2010, it was not allowed.