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 Industry Watch

E-prescribing controlled substances

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   July 2011


DrFirst and its partners are planning to launch electronic prescribing of controlled substances this summer to participating physicians and authorized prescribers nationwide through a program called EPCS Gold. The company will provide technical specifications to its current 160-plus "Open Borders" EHR partners. Phase one of the roll-out will occur in a small number of states where the pharmacies are ready to accept controlled-substance prescriptions electronically.

Although the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) released the final rule on electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS) in June 2010, to date no HIT vendor has begun offering the ability to e-prescribe controlled substances to its clients. According to a DrFirst representative, this is primarily due to the difficulty of meeting the DEA requirements, the significant costs and the struggle to develop two-factor authentication solutions that address the varying needs of providers.

"At last, e-prescribing will be accessible to all providers, including a previously under-served market of dentists, pain management physicians, surgeons and other practitioners who prescribe a greater proportion of controlled substances," says Peter N. Kaufman, CMO, DrFirst.

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