Pennsylvania’s Recent e-Prescribing Legislation: What You Need to Know

Posted March 21, 2017 by Jennifer G

Video Courtesy of Penn Live

Pennsylvania experienced an astounding 3,264 opioid overdose deaths in 2015, a 20.1% increase from 2014. With the rising, devastating numbers in tow, Pennsylvania has decided to take further action and follow suit with New York and Maine.

On February 6, 2017,  Pennsylvania State Senator Richard Alloway and Pennsylvania State Representative Tedd Nesbit announced the introduction of legislation that will require all opioid prescriptions such as OxyContin®, Percocet®, and Norco® to be electronically prescribed (e-Prescribed) in Pennsylvania.

This legislation was initiated shortly after Pennsylvania introduced a more robust Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and is meant to help reduce opioid drug diversion, decrease opioid overdose deaths, and increase overall patient safety.

“In 2017, it just plain makes sense to prescribe the most addictive, but necessary, medication through e-Prescribing.” – Penn Live

Paper prescriptions which are the alternative to e-Prescriptions leave room for translation errors by the pharmacy, but also opens the door for patients to alter, lose, steal, or sell handwritten prescriptions.

In addition to increased patient safety, opioid e-Prescribing will:

  • Combat the rising issue of prescription fraud within a dental practice, including misuse of a dentist’s DEA number, forged signatures, and stolen prescription pads by patients or an Insider Threat. Get your copy of the Insider Threat eBook here.
  • Add to patient convenience by reducing wait times in pharmacies.
  • Ensure that any drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions based on a patient’s medication history are found and reported to the dentist before the prescription order is completed.
  • Increase patient medication pick-up adherence. Between 28% and 31% of all paper prescriptions either never make it to the pharmacy or are not picked up at all.

To put it simply, opioid e-Prescribing is one of the most effective solutions that is being rightfully viewed as an optimal tool by the state of Pennsylvania to combat the ever increasing opioid crisis.

For the protection of patients, the General Assembly is being urged to pass this vital legislation before June 30, 2017. Click here to read the proposed bill.

Get more information about ePrescribing and schedule a demo today!

Sources: OpenPR; Penn Live; PA State Legislation; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Pennsylvania Department of Health

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