NACDS today praised Nevada’s enactment of an electronic prescribing bill (AB 310) that would require prescriptions for controlled substances, including opioids, to be submitted electronically, which will help in the fight against opioid abuse. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed the bill into law June 7, and it will become effective January 1, 2021.
NACDS expressed appreciation for the leadership of Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson (D), who was the bill’s primary sponsor. Frierson said, “With the signing of Assembly Bill 310, Nevada now joins the growing number of states that have passed mandatory e-prescribing laws in an effort to combat the opioid crisis.” Frierson added, “Electronic prescribing has proven to be an effective tool for reducing unlawful and fraudulent prescriptions, tracking and monitoring medication regimens, and reigning in doctor shopping.”
NACDS also thanks Liz MacMenamin with the Retail Association of Nevada; Catherine O’Meara with the Nevada Medical Association; and Board of Pharmacy Executive Secretary Dave Wuest, whose hard work was instrumental in getting this bill passed. Law enforcement, the Nevada Dental Association, the Nevada Psychiatric Association, the Nevada Hospital Association and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce also lent their critical support in getting the legislation passed.
This approach to opioid abuse prevention has popular and nonpartisan support in the state. A January 2019 survey, conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, found that 63 percent of Nevada 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.
NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, said: “The passage of this bill is great news in the effort to fight opioid abuse. We appreciate the efforts of Governor Sisolak, who has been so supportive of efforts to get this important bill across the finish line.” He added, “The fact that twenty-two states have now enacted e-prescribing legislation, shows that momentum is building on these critical efforts to increase security to help curb waste, fraud and abuse.”
This legislation is consistent with NACDS’ existing policy recommendations for opioid abuse prevention. NACDS recently announced four more policy recommendations for opioid abuse prevention. The new proposals build on current policies backed by NACDS, which are achieving results at the federal and state levels.
The new opioid abuse prevention policies follow success for its existing platform. President Trump in 2018 signed into law federal legislation—the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act—which includes provisions of the NACDS-backed Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act. The new federal law 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 has been instrumental in advancing the use of electronic prescribing as a safeguard and 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.
In addition to e-prescribing, NACDS’ recommendations relate to drug disposal, prescription drug monitoring plans, health plan design, pain management, and a seven-day supply limit on the first prescription of an opioid for a patient’s acute – or temporary – pain.
The recommendations parallel consistent and ongoing pharmacy strategies to prevent opioid abuse, including compliance programs; drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; fostering naloxone access; stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics; and more.