ARLINGTON, Va.— The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) on Monday praised Missouri’s enactment of SB 514, which requires electronic prescriptions for controlled substances, with specified exceptions, effective January 1, 2021. The measure is vital for helping to address the opioid-abuse epidemic by reducing fraud and abuse. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed the bill ­­­­on July 11.

NACDS recognized the legislative leadership of the bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. David Sater (R), a pharmacist, and the House sponsor, Rep. Dan Shaul (R).

NACDS also acknowledged the leadership of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, the Missouri Retailers Association, and NACDS member companies operating in the state.

This approach to opioid-abuse prevention has popular and nonpartisan support in the state. A January 2019 survey, conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by NACDS, found that 62 percent of Missouri registered voters support rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically, rather than by paper or fax, to reduce the likelihood of fraud and abuse.

NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson said: “This is a significant milestone: Missouri is now the 25th state to enact an NACDS-backed e-prescribing requirement that will help to prevent opioid abuse.”

This legislation is consistent with NACDS’ policy recommendations for opioid abuse prevention. In addition to e-prescribing, NACDS’ recommendations relate to drug disposal, supply limits for a patient’s first prescription to treat temporary pain, prescription drug monitoring plans, health plan design, and pain management.

NACDS’ recommendations parallel consistent and ongoing pharmacy strategies 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.

In addition to 25 states having enacted an NACDS-backed law, the issue has met with success at the federal level as well. President Trump in 2018 signed into law federal legislation—the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act—which requires electronic prescribing for Schedule II through V controlled substances prescriptions covered under Medicare Part D.

NACDS has been instrumental in advancing the use of electronic prescribing as a safeguard and was on the leading edge of working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances. Until 2010, it was not allowed.