ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is recognizing the leadership of Oklahoma state legislators, Governor Mary Fallin (R) and Attorney General Mike Hunter (R) for the enactment of House Bill 2931, which mandates electronic prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances in the state of Oklahoma, effective January 1, 2020.
“NACDS thanks Oklahoma state legislators for crafting and advancing this vital legislation, Governor Mary Fallin for her leadership on opioid-abuse prevention, and Attorney General Mike Hunter for including the concept of this bill among recommendations to help curb the opioid-abuse epidemic,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson.
“This law will help to prevent fraud, abuse and waste. That is why the advancement of e-prescribing is part of the comprehensive policy proposals that NACDS has developed based on the experiences of pharmacists on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”
NACDS noted the leadership of the bill’s primary sponsors, Rep. Glen Mulready (R) and Sen. Ann Griffin (R), and the bill’s cosponsors, Rep. Tim Downing (R), Sen. Rob Standridge (R), Sen. Anastasia Pittman (D), and Sen. Ervin Yen (R).
A poll conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS in January 2018 found 74% of Oklahoma 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. Reflecting a strong intensity of opinion, an impressive 44% of Oklahoma voters “strongly support” such a requirement – with strong support seen on a bipartisan basis and across political ideologies.
The legislation is consistent with an array of public policy recommendations announced by NACDS, and with NACDS’ comments to the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. NACDS advocates for recommendations based on pharmacists’ experience on the front lines of healthcare, and based on pharmacy’s longstanding collaboration with law enforcement and health professionals on the complex issue of opioid-abuse prevention. The public policy recommendations complement pharmacy’s existing and extensive work, 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.
At the federal level, NACDS has endorsed 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. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances enables prescribers to input prescriptions into electronic health records and see prescription histories, eliminating easily corruptible paper prescriptions and “doctor shopping” while reducing overprescribing to those most at risk of harm.
“Together, actions at the federal and state levels can enhance the use of e-prescribing to help reduce fraud, abuse and waste of controlled substances, and NACDS appreciates the dedicated work of Oklahoma’s leadership,” Anderson said.