Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) is one of the initiatives being used to help address the growing issues with prescription drug abuse in the U.S. The definition of EPCS is in the name—it allows practitioners to write and transmit prescriptions for controlled substances electronically and permits pharmacies to receive and dispense the orders. Traditionally, the process of prescribing prescriptions has been paper-based, so the introduction of EPCS limits stolen or forged prescriptions by utilizing increased security and prescriber two-factor authentication. EPCS is just one of the of many initiatives in place to prevent prescription drug abuse and reduce the burden placed on our communities and healthcare systems today.
Leveraging the technological and safety advantages, states in the U.S. have passed legislation to require EPCS. The following states have mandated EPCS with either past or future effective dates:
- New York
- North Dakota
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
In addition to legislation being passed, starting January 1, 2020, retail juggernaut and one of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains, Walmart, will require electronic prescriptions for controlled substances at all of its locations. Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Health & Wellness and Consumables, Walmart U.S., states this in their official press release:
“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic…we are proud to implement these policies and initiatives as we work to create solutions that address this critical issue facing the patients and communities we serve.”
Through our partnership with DrFirst’s EPCS GoldSM, Wound ExpertⓇ and AgilityUCⓇ offers a solution to comply with EPCS requirements and save time by using a single workflow for both controlled and non-controlled drug prescriptions.
Follow the link to learn more about pending legislation and how your state(s) are tracking to require EPCS.