To increase patient access to care and decrease misuse of controlled substances, Speaker Therese Terlaje and Senator Telena Nelson have introduced Bill No. 110-36 (COR) to allow the transmission of electronic prescriptions of controlled substances directly from prescribers to pharmacies.
While this process is already being used today for other prescriptions, current law requires that patients must obtain a physical copy of prescriptions for controlled substances that are more highly regulated, personally submit the prescription to the pharmacy, and wait to acquire their medication.
“The restriction against sending prescriptions electronically for more highly regulated medications is no longer effective in combating prescription misuse; it only makes it difficult for patients in pain to obtain their medication,” stated Speaker Terlaje.
Physicians have testified in previous hearings on difficulties that patients who are frail and physically ill have with this process, including limited transportation and physical and medical conditions that make it difficult to withstand long hours waiting for prescriptions.
The legislation, supported by the Department of Public Health and Social Services and with recommendations provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, seeks to prevent diversion and misuse of controlled substance prescriptions by reducing the incidence of prescription theft and forgery.
Electronic transmission of prescriptions will also increase monitoring by pharmacies, the DPHSS and other physicians, reducing and preventing overuse and abuse of controlled substances.
“In the midst of a drug crisis, we must put every tool available in the hands of professionals to help prevent addiction, yet increase access to care for those in need,” said Speaker Terlaje.
(Speaker Therese Terlaje Release)