According to the DEA, it is now legal to deliver medications for controlled substances digitally. By following DEA requirements for EPCS, physicians have the option to digitally sign and deliver electronic prescriptions for controlled substances to certified drug stores. While some suppliers still may not be fully aware of this new ability, others are enjoying the advantages. The obvious advantages associated with EPCS adopting include enhancing work-flow, creating complete EHRs, removing the prospective for stolen or changed prescription blanks, decreasing drugstore callbacks on illegibility, avoiding “pharmacy shopping,” and increasing overall individual safety and patient care. These factors, along with the problem of fighting the prescribed drug addiction plague in the United States, will likely be the power in extensive EPCS adoption. While these features will take center stage, it’s important not to ignore the impact that this new form of controlled substance prescribing will have on patient care.
Many physicians and pharmacy technician already understand the severity of this new prescription ability in enhancing individual well-being. At a time when Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and patient quality reporting dominate medical care headlines, there is no question that the move towards a patient-centered medical care model is in full swing.
In states where EPCS for Schedule II medicines is legal, experts who are dedicated to psychiatry, pain management, or emergency medicine will likely develop a unique admiration for this new technology. When one views the regularity with which pain management physicians and psychiatrists recommend Schedule II medicines, the amount is impressive. Medications like Adderall, Oxycontin, Ritalin, and Morphine receive a lot of negative press because of their potential for misuse and diversion, but what many don’t realize is that there is a very large market with genuine medical need that require these medicines to go about everyday living. The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) requires, with very limited exemption, that Schedule II medications be written on original prescription forms from the specialist. These medications must be sent to the drugstore, are not refillable and may not be called in or faxed. While significantly decreasing the possibility for disruption, these conditions make significant difficulties for sufferers who regularly fill these medications.