The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) has publically applauded the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for issuing its interim final rule allowing for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), permitting for the first time a coordinated e-prescribing system for both controlled and non-controlled prescription medication.
Previously, physicians frequently reported the inability to utilize EPCS as one of the main barriers preventing the widespread adoption of e-prescribing.
NACDS had been campaigning for EPCS for a decade, working with the DEA, the Department of Health and Human Services, pharmacy partners, intermediaries such as Surescripts, and technology vendors.
Implementation of the ruling will take six months or more, allowing time for stakeholders to comply.
Today, most pharmacies in the United States have the capability to receive electronic prescriptions, and the number of prescriptions routed electronically grew from 68 million in 2008 to 191 million in 2009.