Action Alert – Impending Opioid E-Prescribing Mandate Guidance
One of the most significant provisions of the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, SB 1001, is the prescriber electronic transmission requirements for prescribing opioids. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) mitigates prescription fraud to prevent the occurrence of fake prescriptions, as well as reduces prescribing errors and improves the accuracy of medication dispensing. These new requirements go into effect in 2019.
Opioid E-Prescribing Requirements
Beginning January 1, 2019, each prescription order for a Schedule II opioid in Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma counties must be transmitted electronically to the dispensing pharmacy. The only exception is for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for substance use disorder, or if a waiver is granted to a prescriber (see below).
Beginning July 1, 2019, these same requirements go into effect in Greenlee, La Paz, Graham, Santa Cruz, Gila, Apache, Navajo, Cochise and Coconino counties.
Link to E-Prescribing Requirements in SB 1001 Bill Language
Take Action for Compliance
We urge you to assess your clinical practice capacities and determine if you are compliant with these impending opioid e-prescribing requirements to avoid and/or minimize any disruption to your practice and patients.
It is important to note that e-prescribing controlled substances must satisfy the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) system requirements and may cost more than basic e-prescribing. Many of the most common electronic health record vendors have both e-prescribing and EPCS capabilities so contact them for more information. To find out if your EHR vendor is EPCS-certified, you can also check the Surescripts website.
Request a Waiver, if Necessary
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes 36-2525 Q., the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy is required to grant waivers to medical practitioners who lack adequate access to broadband or face other hardships that prevent implementation of EPCS. The maximum duration for a waiver is up to one year.
If you determine you will be unable to meet the EPCS e-prescribing requirements, please submit a waiver using this link to the Arizona Board of Pharmacy as soon as possible: Waiver Form Link
DO NOT DELAY! The deadline to get a waiver to the Arizona Board of Pharmacy for consideration before 2019 is November 15, 2018. Once the waiver form is completely filled out, email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions & Feedback?
If you have questions about EPCS, additional information is available on the Health Current website or you may contact them for phone-based support at 602-688-7200.