All 50 states now permit e-prescribing of controlled substances

Last week, Vermont became the final state to permit electronic prescribing of all controlled substances. Now providers across the country in all 50 states can prescribe controlled substances electronically, according to Medscape.

e-Prescribing is seen as a way to curb drug fraud and abuse, as the technology has built in safeguards to make it more difficult to forge prescriptions. "Throwing out the prescription pad and opting for an electronic process makes it easier for patients to get the medications they need while preventing fraud and abuse," said Tom Skelton, CEO of Surescripts.

Now that the e-prescribing is legal, the next step is for physicians to adopt and use the technology, a step many providers have yet to do. According to Medscape, providers will need to upgrade their e-prescribing software to meet standards set by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which only 4 percent of providers have done.

However, the number of providers submitting e-prescriptions is on the rise. Surescripts reports it facilitated nearly 4 million prescriptions for controlled substances in the first half of 2015, a significant increase from the 1.6 million processed during the entirety of 2014.

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