Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) signed into law House Bill 1993, which requires that on or after January 1, 2020, prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances in the state of Tennessee must be issued as an electronic prescription from the person issuing the prescription to a pharmacy.
Arlington, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is recognizing the leadership of Tennessee state legislators and Governor Bill Haslam (R) for the enactment of House Bill 1993, which requires that on or after January 1, 2020, prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances in the state of Tennessee must be issued as an electronic prescription from the person issuing the prescription to a pharmacy.
“With the enactment of this bill, Governor Haslam and the sponsors of this legislation have acted wisely and swiftly to help curb fraud, abuse and waste and to help address the opioid abuse epidemic,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “NACDS appreciates the leadership of the Tennessee Pharmacy Association, the Tennessee Retail Association, and the NACDS-member pharmacies in Tennessee, for helping to make the case for the new law, based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”
“With the enactment of this bill, Governor Haslam and the sponsors of this legislation have acted wisely and swiftly to help curb fraud, abuse and waste and to help address the opioid abuse epidemic.”
NACDS noted the leadership of the bill’s sponsors in the Tennessee General Assembly: Sen. Jon Lundberg, House Speaker Beth Harwell, and Reps. Kevin Brooks, Sheila Butt, Dale Carr, Craig Fitzhugh, Ron M. Gant, Curtis Halford, David Hawk, Gary Hicks, John B. Holsclaw, Jr., Dan Howell, Curtis G. Johnson, Kelly Keisling, Sabi ‘Doc’ Kumar, Pat Marsh, Jimmy Matlock, Gerald McCormick, Jerome Moon, Dennis Powers, John Ragan, Jay D. Reedy, Tim Rudd, Johnny Shaw, Paul Sherrell, Rick Staples, Rick Tillis, Ron Travis, Mark White, Sam Whitson, Ryan Williams, and Jason Zachary.
A poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS in January 2018 found 74 percent of Tennessee voters support a requirement that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than via paper or fax, as a way to help address the opioid abuse epidemic. Reflecting a strong intensity of opinion, an impressive 48 percent of Tennessee voters “strongly support” such a requirement – with strong support seen on a bipartisan basis and across political ideologies.
The legislation is consistent with an array of public policy recommendations announced by NACDS, and with NACDS’ comments to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. NACDS advocates for recommendations based on pharmacists’ experience on the front lines of healthcare, and based on pharmacy’s longstanding collaboration with law enforcement and health professionals on the complex issue of opioid-abuse prevention. The public policy recommendations complement pharmacy’s existing and extensive work, including: compliance programs; pioneering e-prescribing; drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; fostering naloxone access; stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics; and more.
At the federal level, NACDS has endorsed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act (H.R. 3528 and S. 2460). The bill would require that Schedule II through V controlled substances for Medicare Part D beneficiaries are prescribed electronically. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances enables prescribers to input prescriptions into electronic health records and see prescription histories, eliminating easily corruptible paper prescriptions and “doctor shopping” while reducing overprescribing to those most at risk of harm.
“Together, federal and state actions will enhance the use of e-prescribing to help reduce fraud, abuse and waste of controlled substances, and NACDS appreciates the tremendous progress achieved by Tennessee’s leadership,” Anderson said.