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Pharmacist Reaction to NY E-Prescription Requirement

The final piece of New York State's Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP) has gone into effect.  Medical providers are now required to prescribe most medications through an electronic system. This is in an effort to prevent problems such as opioid addiction.

Lourdes Pharmacy has been using electronic prescriptions since 2013. Pharmacists say it helps prevent over-prescribing, wrongful use of prescription papers, and transcription errors.  It also helps pharmacies, and the government, track prescription medications.  

However, pharmacists say the final part of the law, now requiring specialty doctors and practitioners to prescribe electronically, has come with a few challenges in its beginning stages. This includes doctors who want to call in safe, non-controlled prescriptions. Pharmacists say this method of prescribing has been efficient in the past.

"There’s still a little bit of discrepancy in the law as to if that is available or not, and if it can be done," said Todd Landry, Supervising Pharmacist at Lourdes Pharmacy, "So we’re trying to get some of those questions answered because there’s a lot of areas that aren’t black and white.”  

Landry believes when things are settled in, the system will help streamline the process of sending prescriptions from doctors to the pharmacy. 

He says there are still a couple of prescriptions exempt from this act for patient safety.  These include compounded medications, or professionally customized medications, to meet a patient’s specific needs.  

I-STOP was unveiled in 2011, signed into law in 2012, and went into full effect state-wide in 2013.