E-prescribing bills have banner week

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E-prescribing bills have banner week

Laws that push for electronic prescribing of controlled substances have had a big week, both federally and on the state level. On Capitol Hill, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and in Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law that will require e-prescribing for controlled substances on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

The federal bill, which has been backed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores since it was introduced, would require e-prescribing for all controlled substance prescriptions covered under Medicare Part D in an effort to prevent fraud and abuse. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson thanked the bill’s sponsors, Reps. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., as well as committee chairman and ranking member Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J.

“Leveraging the benefits of electronic prescribing to help address the opioid abuse epidemic is one of the priority policy recommendations of NACDS, based on the experiences of pharmacists on the front lines of healthcare delivery,” Anderson said. He also praised the signing of the Tennessee bill, which also is consistent with NACDS’ policy recommendations that have been made around the opioid crisis.

“With the enactment of this bill, Governor Haslam and the sponsors of this legislation have acted wisely and swiftly to help curb fraud, abuse and waste and to help address the opioid abuse epidemic,” Anderson said. “NACDS appreciates the leadership of the Tennessee Pharmacy Association, the Tennessee Retail Association, and the NACDS-member pharmacies in Tennessee, for helping to make the case for the new law, based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”

NACDS has found wide support for e-prescribing. A Morning Consults poll commissioned by the group in January found that 74% of Tennessee voters supported a requirement that all prescriptions be handled electronically, with 48% saying they strongly support such a measure. Nationally, 76% said they supported rules regarding required e-prescribing.