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I-STOP in New York is Finally Taking Off

March 27, 2014

In the very short amount of time since the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE) finalized its guidelines for providers and pharmacies to implement the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) there has been a widespread movement from the New York healthcare community to begin using the new technology. As of this writing, there are currently 1,346 pharmacies across the state that accept electronic transmissions of controlled substance prescriptions. Rite Aid was the first of the large pharmacy chains to become enabled in New York, followed quickly by Duane Reade and Walgreens. As of the publication time for this blog, CVS also has plans in motion that will bring its pharmacies across New York into the network of controlled substance e-prescription-enabled pharmacies within the next six months.
In essence, after a long runway, I-STOP is finally taking off.
New York providers have until March 27, 2015 to comply with the mandate to e-prescribe. But what, exactly, does that mean? First, providers need to identify an e-prescribing option that includes controlled substances well in advance of the deadline in order to complete the identity proofing (IDP) process. Providers must follow all of the requirements established by the United State Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in its Interim Final Rule regarding Electronic Prescriptions of Controlled Substances (information about these requirements can be found here, on the DEA website). In addition to following federal regulations, New York providers must also submit registration materials to New York’s Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. More information about this process can be found on the BNE website, and a complete list of New York State requirements for EPCS can also be found here.
In short here are the 3 things a provider needs to do:

  1. Contract with e-prescribing company that is approved for controlled substance prescribing
  2. Complete the identity-proofing process and receive your token
  3. Complete the New York BNE registration form, sign it, scan it and email to narcotic@health.state.ny.us

Proponents of controlled substance e-prescribing are highly encouraged by I-STOP and applaud New York for leveraging technology to help combat the continued diversion and abuse of controlled substances. DrFirst in particular is proud of its history as the pioneering leader of this emerging technology that started with our helping the DEA shape its interim final rule requirements, continued when a DrFirst prescriber sent the very first electronic prescription for a controlled substance in Berkshire County, Massachusetts in 2009. DrFirst has long recognized the amazing potential which controlled substance e-prescribing has in the fight to keep the controlled drug abuse pandemic at bay.