New legislation to help prevent opioid abuse.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is applauding the enactment of an electronic prescribing bill (AB 2789) in California that will help to prevent opioid abuse. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation yesterday.
Effective January 1, 2022, the bill will require healthcare practitioners authorized to issue prescriptions to have the capability to transmit electronic data transmission prescriptions, and require pharmacies to have the capability to receive those transmissions. The bill also requires those healthcare practitioners to transmit prescriptions electronically, unless specified exemptions are met.
“NACDS recognizes the leadership of Assemblymember Jim Wood, the author of this vital legislation, and the leadership of the California State Board of Pharmacy in sponsoring the bill. We also appreciate the tremendous work of the California Retailers Association in advocating for this important opioid-abuse-prevention strategy,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.
“NACDS’ longstanding work and new recommendations to help prevent opioid abuse are rooted in pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery. We appreciate California’s pivotal action to enhance the use of electronic prescribing, which is one of the core elements of NACDS’ public policy recommendations.”
NACDS has long supported e-prescribing as part of the solution to the opioid abuse crisis and included it in its public policy recommendations earlier this year, along with ongoing pharmacy initiatives 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. Reflective of the journey toward greater use of electronic prescribing as a safeguard, NACDS was on the leading edge of working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances. Until 2010, it was not even allowed.
Public support for e-prescribing is strong in California and across the nation. A poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS in January 2018 found 73% of California 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.
Twelve states now have enacted an NACDS-backed mandate, including six that have enacted such legislation this year. Legislation is pending in additional states as well.
At the federal level, both U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have passed 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. The two chambers are expected to negotiate final comprehensive legislation that incorporates other policies focused on opioid-abuse prevention.