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A Briefing on new Massachusetts E-Prescribing Regulations

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In 2018 (in chapter 208 or the CARE Act) , the state of Massachusetts established a new requirement that most Schedule II through Schedule VI and device prescriptions be issued in a federally-compliant, secure electronic format (ePrescribing) rather than on paper or through an electronic system that does not meet federal security requirements.  The primary purpose of Massachusetts’ ePrescribing legislation is to improve controlled substance safety and security by reducing prescription forgery and drug diversion.  However, the breadth of the Massachusetts law exceeds the ePrescribing requirements of other states in that it includes prescriptions for Schedule VI medications (i.e., prescription drugs that are not federally controlled, such as antibiotics, blood thinners, and chemotherapy) and prescriptions for devices, including insulin pumps; pacemakers, intraocular lenses, and crutches. 

During the past year, MA DPH has been crafting enacting regulations on eprescribing based on comments and public hearings.  Based on comments, some exemptions were established and a enactment date was delayed until Jan  2021.

David E. Johnson, Director of the Drug Control Program, Bureau of Health Professions Licensure at MA Department of Public Health will review the law and the enacting regulations.