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Opioid Abuse: If EPCS Is The Answer, Why Hasn’t It Worked?

March 6, 2017

By Peter N. Kaufman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, DrFirst

With an ever-increasing focus on addressing the opioid epidemic from key stakeholders — law enforcement, legislators, and healthcare providers — one would expect to see improvement. Yet opioid misuse and abuse continues unabated.

Healthcare providers and healthcare IT vendors thought they had discovered the cure to this ill: e-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS). Since e-prescribing for legend drugs has been accepted by the majority of providers — more than 70 percent — EPCS should have been a natural progression, especially given the vital need to slow the runaway train of opioid abuse.

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