May 3, 2012
Rockville, MD, May 3, 2012
DrFirst announced today that nearly 6,000 pharmacies nationwide can now accept electronically transmitted prescriptions for controlled substances. Some 24 states have passed legislation and governance rules allowing EPCS. Twelve additional states have passed EPCS legislation and are awaiting approval of governance rules.
We are delighted that so many states and pharmacies are getting on board with EPCS,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “State legislatures and pharmacies are working together to create the environment for widespread adoption of EPCS. Now we encourage doctors to move forward with the two step authentication process and EHR vendors to partner with DrFirst to offer this groundbreaking service to their clients, avoiding the developmental, certification and auditing costs required to meet the DEA’s criteria.”
The first controlled substance prescriptions were sent electronically in 2009, when providers in a Berkshire County, Mass., pilot program utilized DrFirst’s EPCS 1.0. The pilot program was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and conducted under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with a waiver from the DEA.
On June 1, 2010, the DEA’s Interim Final Rule took effect, removing the federal barrier to the e-prescribing of controlled substances. DrFirst and EPCS-enabled pharmacies have completed DEA-required third party audits and have met the Identity Proofing requirements set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These procedures are in place to prevent the illegal diversion of prescription narcotics and other controlled drugs.
The electronic prescribing of controlled substances increases the difficulty of controlled drug diversion by reducing the reproduction or forging of paper scripts. The process also makes it easier to identify “drug shoppers” with real-time feedback from online medication histories. With EPCS, physicians have just one workflow for e-prescribing and can easily monitor all prescribing events and activities. Physicians can also communicate more effectively with pharmacies. For more information about EPCS, contact DrFirst at (866) 263-6511 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.