The state of Missouri has promulgated regulations effective July 30, 2015 that formally authorize electronic prescribing of controlled substances in Missouri. With these new regulations, Missouri becomes the final state to allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances. Although the Drug Enforcement Administration implemented changes in 2010 to permit electronic prescribing of such drugs, some states, like many prescribers, have been slow to adopt the practice. As we reported in a blog post earlier this year, as of December 2013, approximately one-third of pharmacies were equipped to handle e-prescriptions of controlled substances, but only 1% of prescribers were able to e-prescribe controlled substances.
With all states now allowing e-prescribing of controlled substances, however, we may see faster growth in the number of providers and pharmacies capable of e-prescribing or accepting e-prescriptions of controlled substances. E-prescribing is viewed as a way to reduce the abuse of controlled substances, which continues to be an important public health issue. Regulations authorizing e-prescribing in all 50 states may also encourage the development of new and more accessible e-prescribing technologies for providers and pharmacies.