Coalition urges changes in controlled-substance prescribing

A group of IT and pharma-related companies has begun lobbying for changes in the rules around controlled drugs which would allow physicians to prescribe them electronically. Members of the group, the Controlled Substances Coalition, include BlueCross Blue Shield, CVS, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Wal-Mart and Sage Software.

At present, the companies say, many doctors cite the requirement to write paper prescriptions for controlled substances as the main reason they aren't converting all their scripts to digital form. Physicians and pharmacists say that they're reluctant to switch to e-prescribing if they're going to have to maintain both a paper and an electronic process for prescription management. Group leaders, who testified in a Congressional hearing yesterday, are calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to change its policies in this regard. The DEA seems reluctant to do so, however, arguing that non-paper methods may not be secure.

To find out more about the debate:
- read this Healthcare Finance News article

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