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New York State Prescribing Mandate of Controlled Substances Effective On March 27, 2016 – I-Stop law in 2012

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A new state regulation goes into effect on March 27, 2016, requiring all medication prescriptions to be electronically prescribed. This requirement affects all medication prescribers, including physicians and dentists. (Veterinarians are excluded)

The I-STOP law includes a series of provisions to overhaul the way prescription drugs are distributed and tracked in New York State.

As of March 27, 2016, E-prescribing will be required for all New York State prescriptions, including controlled substances. This E-prescribing mandate goes into effect on March 27, 2016 physicians who comply with these regulations may now begin to electronically prescribe controlled substances (EPCS), as long as their EPCS systems are DEA certified. Physicians must register their EPCS software with NYS Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE). If a transmission of a prescription of a controlled substance using software that is not DEA certified, the prescription will fail. The failed prescription will not be filled.

A waiver process from the E-prescribing mandate has been established under regulations. A waiver is only good for one year, and physicians will need to apply directly to the Commissioner of Health.  

The e-prescribing regulations include several exceptions to the mandate including when:

  • electronic prescribing is not available due to temporary technological or electronic failure;
  • the prescriber has a waiver granted by the New York State Commissioner of Health;
  • the prescriber reasonably determines that it would be impractical for the patient to obtain substances prescribed by electronic prescription in a timely manner; or
  • the prescription will be dispensed at a pharmacy located outside New York State.

The E-prescribing of controlled substances was required under the passage of the I-STOP law in 2012. This law was enacted to help fight prescription drug abuse.

The Department of Health “Practitioner EPCS Registration” form

The New York State Department of Health Website

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Vanessa Best

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