Harrisburg, PA, February 06, 2017 – Today, State Senator Richard Alloway and State Representative Tedd Nesbit announced the introduction of legislation to mandate the electronic prescribing of opioid medications. The bill is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society (POS). Society President Patrick Smith, MD, as well as POS board members, joined legislators in the Main Capitol Rotunda to announce the legislation.
“We stand with Senator Alloway and Representative Nesbit to advance a solution that works in the fight against opioid addiction,” Smith said. “Opioid e-prescribing will absolutely reduce drug diversion due to written prescriptions being lost, stolen or sold. It just plain makes sense in 2017. We thank Senator Alloway, Representative Nesbit and all the other legislators who have joined us today to gain this vital patient protection measure.”
Currently, Pennsylvania law requires opioid prescriptions to be handwritten. A vestige of the pre-internet era, this statute has not been updated since the 1990s. Although physicians may prescribe all other medicine by electronic means, opioids must still be prescribed by handwritten prescriptions. The Alloway and Nesbit bills (SB 299 and HB 353) ?will bring opioid prescribing into the 21st Century.
“Patients and physicians throughout the Commonwealth can feel more secure now that legislative action is pending on opioid e-prescribing,” Smith said. “Paper scripts will no longer put our communities at risk of drug diversion and hamper patient care. We respectfully request the General Assembly to quickly move this solution that works.”
In addition to reducing drug diversion, opioid e-prescribing will add to patient convenience. Like with other medications, opioid e-prescribing will reduce patient wait times in pharmacies. It will also increase patient security by eliminating the risk of opioid prescriptions being stolen.
“There are a multitude of reasons for the current opioid addiction crisis and the General Assembly took important steps last session to turn the tide against it. Opioid e-prescribing is a simple and effective solution and should be added to the arsenal of weapons available to physicians to combat the crisis,” Smith concluded.
Advocating for excellence in the practice of orthopaedic medicine, POS is a professional medical specialty organization representing more than 1000 orthopaedic surgeons across Pennsylvania. For more information on the importance of bone, joint and muscle health at every age, visit www.paorthosociety.org.
PA Orthopaedic Society
Harrisburg, PA 17101