More than 28,000 pharmacies nationwide now accept electronically transmitted prescriptions for controlled substances, representing 41% of all retail pharmacies in the United States, according to a report by health care IT provider DrFirst.


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Pharmacies rapidly enable e-prescribing for controlled substances

July 9th, 2014

ROCKVILLE, Md. – More than 28,000 pharmacies nationwide now accept electronically transmitted prescriptions for controlled substances, representing 41% of all retail pharmacies in the United States, according to a report by health care IT provider DrFirst.

DrFirst said Wednesday that 49 states and the District of Columbia have legalized controlled substance electronic prescriptions since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made e-prescribing of these medications legal at the federal level in 2010.

The company noted that adoption of e-prescribing for controlled substances has been rapid. Ten states have more than 50% of retail pharmacies enabled for controlled substance e-scripts. Following aggressive awareness campaigns, Arizona leads all states with nearly 75% of retail pharmacies enabled.

New York's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) law mandates that doctors e-prescribe both legend drugs and controlled substances by March 27, 2015.

A rising number of states are turning to technology solutions and prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) to fight epidemic levels of prescription drug abuse as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to DrFirst.

"Clearly, doctors and legislators realize the tremendous benefit controlled substance e-prescribing offers in battling prescription drug abuse, reducing health care costs and improving patient care," G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst, said in a statement. "Moreover, EMR executives now see that controlled substance e-prescribing functionality must become a core integrated component of their system's capabilities. More than 150 of our EMR partners have already integrated DrFirst's EPCS GoldSM 2.0 controlled-substance e-prescribing technology in order to be prepared to deliver this capability to their providers."

DrFirst examines the growth of controlled substance e-prescribing (EPCS) in the United States in its report "The Evolving Landscape for Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances: An Industry Briefing for 2014," which includes a state-by-state list of EPCS-enabled pharmacy density.

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