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Electronic Prescription For Controlled Substances

DEA's rule, "Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances" revises DEA's regulations to provide practitioners with the option of writing prescriptions for controlled substances electronically. The regulations will also permit pharmacies to receive, dispense, and archive these electronic prescriptions. The rule was published in the Federal Register Wednesday, March 31, 2010 and becomes effective on June 1, 2010.

A practitioner will be able to issue electronic controlled substance prescriptions only when the electronic prescription or electronic health record (EHR) application the practitioner is using complies with the requirements in the interim final rule.

The application provider must either hire a qualified third party to audit the application or have the application reviewed and certified by an approved certification body. The auditor or certification body will issue a report that states whether the application complies with DEA's requirements and whether there are any limitations on its use for controlled substance prescriptions.

(A limited set of prescriptions require information that may need revision of the basic prescription standard before they can be reliably accommodated, such as hospital prescriptions issued to staff members with an identifying suffix.) The application provider must provide a copy of the report to practitioners who use or are considering use of the electronic prescription application to allow them to determine whether the application is compliant with DEA's requirements.

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