DrFirst, a leading provider of healthcare IT solutions, announced today that providers using the company’s EPCS GoldSM 2.0 controlled substance e-prescribing technology have issued more than 663,000 controlled substance prescriptions to date, and the company expects to surpass the 700,000 mark in mid-September. This volume represents an estimated 60-percent of total U.S. electronic controlled substance prescriptions issued since 2010 and quantifies DrFirst’s position as the industry’s leading controlled substance e-prescribing solution.
E-prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) was legalized at the Federal level by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) interim final rule for e-prescribing of controlled substances. EPCS is also legal at the State level in 49 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and beginning on March 27, 2015, New York will be the first state to mandate electronic prescribing for legend drugs and controlled substances through its Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing/Prescription Monitoring Program (I-STOP) legislation.
“The benefits of controlled substance e-prescribing are numerous, including preventing doctor shopping and drug diversion, streamlining prescribing workflows within practices, and enabling these prescriptions to be checked for clinical alerts at the time of prescribing,” said Peter Kaufman, M.D., chief medical officer for DrFirst. “In light of our growing prescription drug epidemic and as evidenced by the growth we are seeing in the use of EPCS Gold, doctors now regard having controlled substance e-prescribing capability with a heightened sense of urgency.”
There is growing awareness of the prescription drug addiction problem in the U.S., evidenced most-recently by the DEA’s movement of hydrocodone combination drugs into the more-restrictive Schedule II classification in an effort to help stem misuse of such medications. Controlled substances represent approximately 10 percent of all prescribed medications, however, the electronic processing of controlled substances is disproportionately more difficult than e-prescribing legend drugs, requiring additional technical and security certifications, identity proofing of providers, and two-factor authentication of a provider’s authorization to prescribed controlled substances electronically.
“More than 150 EMR and HIS systems have already contracted to integrate our technology within their systems, which will make controlled substance e-prescribing capability accessible to approximately 275,000 providers,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “Given New York’s I-STOP regulation, the growth of EPCS-enabled pharmacies nationwide, and the proven effectiveness of EPCS Gold, we anticipate increasingly rapid adoption of our controlled substance e-prescribing technology over the coming year.”
DrFirst pioneers technology solutions that inform the doctor-patient point of encounter, optimizing provider access to patient information, enhancing the doctor’s clinical view of the patient, and improving care delivery and clinical outcomes. Our growth is driven by a commitment to innovation, security and reliability across a wide array of services, including Medication Management, Medication Adherence, and Secure Care Coordination and Collaboration. We are proud of our track record of service to more than 45,000 providers, 300 EMR/EHR/HIS system vendors, and 650 hospitals and other acute care facilities.