By Liz MacMenamin
The Nevada Board of Pharmacy passed LCB File No. R083-20. Beginning January 1, 2021, the regulation is being promulgated because of passage AB310 in 2019 and becomes effective January 1. 2021. This law requires providers to employ electronic prescribing when prescribing controlled substances. There was a provision for exemptions for the period of one year under the oversite of the Board of Pharmacy. This regulation will require the completion of a form that can be obtained through the Board for the exemption from this statutory requirement.
This exemption will be for a period of one year and can only be obtained once, giving the prescriber one additional year to set up operations to submit their prescriptions electronically.
There were prescribers on the call that voiced their opposition to this regulation but, as stated by the board staff, this is a law that was passed in the 2019 legislative session and the board cannot alter or change that law.
One of the comments that a prescriber gave was that this would cost them $39 a month. The big question is how much of a hardship is $39 a month against the safety that electronic prescribing gives to the patient. One would hope that patient safety would be the biggest concern of a prescriber as it is for the pharmacist
Electronic prescribing has been proven to be safer than a handwritten prescription in that the pharmacist will no longer have to try to decipher the prescribers illegible handwriting. It will also be a more secure system in submitting prescriptions for controlled substances. This was one of the main reasons for passing this law in Nevada. This will be a small step in addressing the opioid issue in our state.
This regulation simply sets up the rules for obtaining an exemption and, after evaluation, it appears to be a fairly simple process and will give the prescriber another year in which to set up their system to electronically prescribe.
Medicare has also adopted this and will require this for all Medicare patients’ prescriptions, not just controlled substances. Medicare recently allowed for an extension of their requirements until January 1, 2021 as well.
This regulation will not have to appear at the next Legislative Commission before becoming law in our state. RAN will continue following this regulation through the adoption process.