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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2017 10:26 AM
From: Representative Tedd C. Nesbit
To: All House members
Subject: Electronic Prescription Requirements for Controlled Substances
As we continue to combat the opioid addition crisis in Pennsylvania, please be aware that a relatively simple solution exists to at least reduce the diversion of controlled substances into the wrong hands. I am introducing legislation to mandate the electronic prescribing of opioid medications as a means to prevent diversion due to handwritten prescriptions.

Amazingly enough, Pennsylvania still requires controlled substance prescriptions to be hand written. At the time of enactment, this well intended statute and its accompanying regulations provided the most secure form of opioid prescriptions. In 2017, however, this is simply no longer the case.

Written prescriptions are obviously subject to being lost, stolen or sold. My legislation will eliminate a major source of drug diversion by mandating controlled substance prescriptions to be electronic, just like every other prescription. If a physician uses his or her clinical judgement to prescribe an opioid, the prescription must be electronically transmitted to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice. In this way, there is no possibility that the prescription itself will fall into the wrong hands. It’s simple, effective and necessary for reducing drug diversion.

I encourage you to co-sponsor this important legislation with me.

Introduced as HB353