Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed an electronic prescribing bill into law this week requiring that controlled substance prescriptions for Schedules II-IV be submitted electronically, which will help in the fight against opioid abuse.

NACDS today praised Colorado’s enactment of an electronic prescribing bill (SB19-079) that would require controlled substance prescriptions for Schedules II-IV to be submitted electronically, which will help in the fight against opioid abuse. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) today signed the bill into law, which will become effective January 1, 2021.


  • NACDS recognizes the bipartisan leadership of Sen. Nancy Todd (D), Sen. Kevin Priola (R), Rep. Daneya Esgar (D) and Rep. Lois Landgraf (R). NACDS also lauds the Colorado Retail Council’s Angie Howes, who advocated for the proactive approach to opioid abuse prevention.
  • A January 2019 survey, conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, found that 64 percent of Colorado 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 21 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.

“With the enactment of this legislation, Colorado has taken significant action to help curb the opioid abuse crisis. Seventeen states have enacted e-prescribing legislation, which helps to increase security and curb waste, fraud and abuse. NACDS appreciates this important achievement in Colorado toward an even more comprehensive approach to the solution.”

– NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE