The Justice Departments Drug Enforcement Administration has proposed regulations that would allow physicians to electronically prescribe "controlled" substances such as opiate pain relievers, anabolic steroids and stimulants with the potential for abuse or addiction, according to a news release.
The proposed regulations could help reduce prescription forgery by maintaining a closed system of controls on controlled-substances dispensing, according to the agency. E-prescription could potentially provide a means for pharmacists and drug-enforcement officials to trace controlled-substance prescriptions to a legitimate prescriber, and ensure that the medication is being dispensed by the intended pharmacist and received by the intended patient. The regulations also are aimed at reducing paperwork and prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting, according to the news release.
Our goal is to put in place an electronic-prescribing system that is efficient, medically beneficial to patients and prescribers, and provides security from hackers and others who might seek to engage in fraudulent prescribing activities, said Joseph Rannazzisi, DEA deputy assistant administrator for the Diversion Control Office. -- by Shawn Rhea