Senators seek one-year delay of New York's electronic prescribing mandate

David J. Valesky

January 28, 2015

By James T. Mulder on January 28, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Syracuse, N.Y. -- The March 27 deadline when nearly all drug prescriptions in New York state must be issued electronically would be delayed one year under proposed legislation co-sponsored by Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida.

The electronic prescribing mandate is required by the state's I-STOP law enacted in 2012 to address the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and addiction in New York. E-prescribing is expected to eliminate the problem of forged, traded or stolen prescriptions.

The e-prescribing mandate applies to all prescriptions, even non narcotic drugs. The new rule covers all prescribers except veterinarians.

The state Medical Society has asked the state Health Department to delay the mandate because many doctors are not ready.

To comply with the mandate, doctors can only use e-prescribing software that meets strict regulations established by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The bill co-sponsored by Valesky and Sen. Kemp Hannon, R-Long Island, says doctors need more time.

"Unfortunately, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency moved slowly in certifying vendors who are authorized to transmit electronic prescriptions for controlled substances," the bill's memo says. "As a result, many doctors and other prescribers around the state, many of whom have electronic records and e-prescribing capabiity, have contracts with vendors who have not yet received the necessary federal certification."