New York is first state to ban, penalize paper prescriptions

The days of paper prescriptions in New York State are coming to an end on March 27, when providers will be required to electronically write all prescriptions.

New York State will implement penalties for providers who do not comply with the electronic standard, the first state in the country to do so, reports The New York Times. While Minnesota requires electronic prescribing by law, there are no penalties for providers who don't comply, according to the report.

The move to electronic prescriptions aims to reduce prescription fraud and eliminate errors from misread handwriting, according to the report.

Requiring electronic prescribing is the second phase of New York State's electronic prescription and prescription monitoring program law called I-Stop, effective in 2013. The first phase was developing an online registry detailing all controlled substances prescribed to a patient which providers must check before prescribing a controlled medication to see if the patient has a history of drug abuse.

Now, the hope is electronic prescriptions will prevent people from potentially modifying written prescriptions.

"Paper prescriptions had become a form of criminal currency that could be traded even more easily than the drugs themselves," said Eric T. Schneiderman, New York's attorney general, according to the report. "By moving to a system of e-prescribing, we can curb the incidence of these criminal acts and also reduce errors resulting from misinterpretation of handwriting on good-faith prescriptions."

Providers who don't use electronic prescriptions may face civil and criminal penalties and fines.

More articles on electronic prescribing:

5 things to know about physician views on preventing opioid overdose
New York tops states in electronically prescribing controlled substances
HANYS working to address outstanding issues as e-prescribing program nears

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