New York boasts highest rate of e-prescribing for controlled substances

Electronic prescribing of controlled substances continues to increase, particularly in New York, according to new data from Surescripts.

The company processed over 12.6 million electronic prescriptions of controlled substances in 2015, a nearly tenfold increase over 2014. Not surprisingly, The Empire State leads in e-prescribing of controlled substances; 27 percent of total prescribers can do so, and 93 percent of pharmacies are able to electronically receive e-prescriptions of controlled substances. More than half (58 percent) of prescribers in New York are actively transmitting e-prescriptions.

New York's e-prescribing requirement, part of a larger law called the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act of 2012 (I-STOP), is intended to reduce drug diversion and doctor shopping. The law applies to all prescriptions and all prescribers except for veterinarians. The law was originally slated to go into effect March 27, 2015 but was delayed for one year since so few prescribers were ready for it. The new deadline is March 27, 2016.

"The rapid increase in the number of physicians prepared to e-prescribe controlled substances in New York is a testament to the power that legislation can wield in quickly closing the gap between a market need and technology readiness in this industry," Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton said in a statement. "However, there is clearly more work to be done to educate prescribers in New York and across the country on the importance that their adoption of e-prescribing of controlled substances plays in the fight against prescription drug abuse."

All states have now legalized the e-prescribing of controlled substances. However, implementation remains slow. Surescripts attributes the sluggish rate to the confusion regarding the technological requirements, the need for software to be updated, Drug Enforcement Administration third-party audit requirements for vendors and a lack of awareness of the process. The company has published resources to help the industry along with such e-prescribing.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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