February 24, 2014
DrFirst, a leading provider of healthcare IT solutions designed to improve clinical outcomes for patients, announced today that there are over 23,000 pharmacies nationwide that now accept electronically transmitted prescriptions for controlled substances, representing a 79% increase over pharmacy availability at this time last year. The result of this incredible growth rate is that 35% of all US pharmacies are now enabled to accept electronic controlled substance prescriptions, and it is expected that this number will continue to rise over the course of the next year as local pharmacies and large national pharmacy chains rush to implement this innovative technology. To date, 47 states and the District of Columbia allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances.
DrFirst has been consistently leading the industry with controlled substance e-prescribing, beginning in 2009 when it sent the first electronic prescription for a controlled substance in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. “We always believed that this technology offered enormous potential for the healthcare community,” said James F. Chen, chairman and CEO of Drfirst. “In fact, with EPCS Gold℠, we were the first company to develop the technology that met the DEA’s stringent requirements for security while creating a prescribing process that fit into physicians’ workflows.”
Adoption rates for EPCS among HIT vendors also remains strong, as vendors recognize the benefit in integrating DrFirst’s industry-leading EPCS GOLD solution, reducing their development costs, shortening the time required for certification, and removing the burden of identity-proofing and providing authentication.
G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst said “We have reached the same tipping point with controlled substance e-prescribing that legend e-prescribing reached around 2009. The clinical and legal benefits of controlled substance e-prescribing are increasingly compelling to national and state regulators, pharmacies, HIT vendors, and providers, and it will not be long before EPCS becomes standard for providers across the nation.”
New York is poised to become the leading state in the nation for e-prescribing controlled substances due to its Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-Stop) Act, which mandates that all providers must use e-prescribing for all controlled substance prescriptions beginning in March of 2015. States like New York are increasingly turning to healthcare technology solutions such as e-prescribing of controlled substances and prescription monitoring programs (PMPs) to help fight the alarming rate of prescription drug abuse the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has declared an epidemic.
This month, DrFirst published its annual E-prescribing of controlled substances report, titled “The Evolving Landscape for Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances – An Industry Briefing for 2014” updating the industry on the state of controlled substance e-prescribing across the nation. The report provides a summary of the clinical and public health benefits offered by controlled substance e-prescribing, the process involved in implementing it into practices, and the current regulatory climate surrounding the technology.
DrFirst pioneers technology solutions that inform the doctor-patient point of encounter, optimizing provider access to patient information, enhancing the doctor’s clinical view of the patient, and improving care delivery and clinical outcomes. Our growth is driven by a commitment to innovation, security, and reliability across a wide array of services, including Medication Management, Medication Adherence, and Secure Communication and Collaboration. We are proud of our track record of service to more than 300 EMR/EHR/HIS vendors and an extensive network of providers, hospitals and patients.