Jul 10, 2017

EPCS to End Opioid Abuse

Alanna Diffendal   |   Updated May 24   |  Reading time: 2 minutes

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The age of technology has propelled the takeover of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), leading providers to leave their familiar ways of paper prescribing in the United States. Opioid abuse is a serious problem in this nation, and EPCS is part of the solution. One-third of deaths from opioid abuse in Maine come from pharmaceutical opioids. EPCS can further control the distribution of these substances by reducing prescription fraud, ensuring doctors orders are follows, and providing access to a patient’s medication history. Electronic prescribing has been proven to be a safer and more effective method of prescribing that improves convenience for the patient, pharmacy and doctor.

In 2016, 45.3 million prescriptions for controlled substances were electronically transmitted – 32.49 million and 256% more than in 2015, as reported by Surescripts. In 2015, 6% of prescribers were enabled for EPCS, and in a year, the percentage rose to 14.1% and is still rising today.

Maine is the most recent state to mandate e-prescribing. Statistics show that within a year of the e-prescribing mandate in New York, 98.1% of pharmacies and 72.1% of prescribers were EPCS enabled. Since this mandate in March 2016, 91.9% of controlled substance prescriptions were sent electronically.

Currently, Maine is the most recent state to mandate EPCS – joining New York and Minnesota. EPCS legislation has been introduced to Connecticut, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. Soon these states, and many to follow will pass legislation making written prescriptions for opioids illegal in hopes of ending the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Electronic prescribing of controlled substances is a legal and secure process in which many states will begin to mandate in order to join the fight against opioid abuse. Virginia’s mandate “prohibits a pharmacist from dispensing a controlled substance that contains an opiate unless the prescription is issued as an electronic prescription, beginning July 1, 2020.” States are setting similar mandates in order to make opioids harder to obtain for abusers, yet just as easy for those who are prescribed these medications.

RXNT provides a high quality e-prescriber at an affordable price with live support and training at no additional cost to our clients. To learn more about EPCS at RXNT, call us at 1-800-943-7968 Option 3 or email us at [email protected].

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