The Senate agreed on September 6 to vote this week on a legislative package that includes more than 70 proposals—the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018—to combat the opioid abuse crisis, including NACDS-backed legislation, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act (S. 2460). The legislation would require electronic prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances prescriptions covered under Medicare Part D to help prevent fraud, abuse and waste. The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee passed companion legislation (H.R. 6) that also included electronic prescribing legislation on May 9.
At the state level, eleven states have enacted NACDS-backed mandates for electronic prescribing, including five that have enacted legislation this year. Legislation is pending in four additional states, including California—where a bill is on its way to the governor’s desk for signature.
In a January 2018 national survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, 76 percent supported rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than by paper or fax, as a way to help address the opioid abuse epidemic.
Expanding electronic prescribing for controlled substances is among the policy recommendations issued by NACDS to complement longstanding and ongoing pharmacy initiatives to prevent opioid abuse, 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.