July 27, 2011

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Today, DrFirst, Inc. announced an innovative product that fulfills the company’s commitment to deliver a simple, secure, and affordable way to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically with the launch of EPCS Gold™ version 2.0 (Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances). EPCS Gold™ is fully certified to meet the prescription processing requirements set by Surescripts, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements enforced through the Interim Final Rule (IFR), and the Identity Proofing requirements set by NIST, and is now available to all eligible providers nationwide.

In 2009, physicians in Berkshire County, MA began utilizing DrFirst’s EPCS 1.0 in a pilot program funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and a waiver from the DEA. Through this pilot program, DrFirst was the first and only e-prescribing company to publicly demonstrate the nation’s first end-to-end EPCS system. DrFirst was able to apply both the learnings from this pilot and the requirements outlined in the DEA’s Interim Final Rule (IFR) to substantially enhance EPCS Gold™ for the 2.0 version of the product.

Prescribers enrolling for EPCS Gold™ will be able to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically after a simple credentialing and identity-proofing process with DrFirst. After providers are certified, they can begin e-prescribing Schedule II-V drugs based on their individual state laws and the ability of the receiving pharmacy to meet the DEA’s requirements to process these prescriptions. To avoid any confusion and eliminate guesswork by providers, EPCS Gold™ automatically detects which substances can be sent electronically.

“As the originators of controlled substance e-prescribing for physicians, we are excited to be the first to market with a true nationwide offering. Version 2.0 of EPCS Gold™ reflects DrFirst’s expertise in security through a design that provides a straightforward and inexpensive solution for both providers and health IT vendors,” said President of DrFirst, G. Cameron Deemer. “We’re encouraging doctors to begin moving forward on the credentialing process and to begin contacting their local pharmacies to let them know they’re ready to send controlled substances electronically.”

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors are invited to partner with DrFirst to offer this groundbreaking product to their clients and avoid the developmental, certification and auditing costs required to conform to the DEA’s guidelines.

DrFirst will be offering the first 500 qualified providers free registration (i.e., identity proofing, token distribution, logical access control) and a one-year subscription to EPCS Gold™ 2.0 service in celebration of this historic milestone in medical history.

What Are Controlled Substances?
Controlled substances are drugs or other substances that are regulated under federal law depending on medical use, potential for abuse, and addictiveness.

Schedule I: High abuse potential, no medical use, considered unsafe
Schedule II: High abuse potential, approved for medical use, has severe dependence risk
Schedule III: Lower abuse potential, approved for medical use, has moderate or low dependence risk
Schedule IV: Relatively low potential, approved for medical use, limited dependence risk
Schedule V: Drugs that are cough medicines with codeine
The five “schedules” of drugs are not the same as the five “classes” of drugs, which organizes drugs according to their main properties. The five classes of controlled substance drugs are narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids.

For further information about EPCS Gold™ 2.0, contact DrFirst at (866) 263-6511.