E-prescribing bill clears Senate panel

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E-prescribing bill clears Senate panel

An e-prescribing bill backed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has cleared a key hurdle in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee has passed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, little more than a month after the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed its House counterpart.

The bill would require that all schedule II through IV controlled substances covered under Medicare Part D be prescribed electronically as a deterrent against abuse, fraud and waste.

“NACDS appreciates the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee in advancing the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, which is consistent with NACDS’ policy recommendations to help further address the opioid abuse epidemic,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “NACDS’ recommendations are based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery. Enhanced use of electronic prescribing is an important part of the comprehensive effort to keep opioids out of the wrong hands, and we urge continued vigilance to assure enactment of this legislation.”

The legislation was introduced by Sens. Michael Bennet and Dean Heller, with original co-sponsors Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Pat Toomey.

A January Morning Consult poll commissioned by NACDS found 76% of respondents saying that they supported rules that all prescriptions must be handled electronically as a way to address the opioid abuse epidemic.