ARLINGTON, Va.– The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is among the 13 health care entities urging Congress to ensure that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adheres to the January 1, 2022 deadline for compliance with the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) requirement.
In a letter, NACDS and allied organizations urge that CMS implements Section 2003 of the SUPPORT Act on schedule given the critical role of electronic prescribing in helping to improve safety and security in the prescribing process and to curb prescription drug misuse and abuse.
Of note, the letter details the significant benefits of electronic prescribing, including: reduced burden – particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic – for patients who otherwise may need to take multiple trips to providers and pharmacies to fill prescriptions; safeguards against prescription fraud and irregularities; further reductions in medication errors; and enhanced workflow in healthcare settings.
“NACDS is proud to be a part of this coalition effort and is appreciative of the recognized leaders of EPCS in Congress whose continued leadership will play a vital role in ensuring that CMS stays on track for the deadline for EPCS compliance,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson. “Community pharmacies and pharmacists remain absolutely committed to addressing the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic. This remains crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had an adverse impact on the mental and psychological health of many Americans. Implementing an EPCS mandate without delay is vital to improve patient health and wellbeing and to help reduce opioid-related deaths.”
NACDS remains committed to the use of electronic prescriptions for all medications, especially controlled substances. In June, NACDS submitted comments urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to make EPCS mandatory to help improve patient health outcomes in every community.
More information about NACDS’ related policy recommendations can be found on its Access Agenda website.