Senators mull end to paper prescriptions, may require electronic

DES MOINES — A three-member panel in the state senate is delaying a decision on a bill that would do away with handwritten prescriptions on paper and require that all prescriptions be submitted to pharmacies electronically.

Senator Tom Greene, a Republican from Burlington who is a retired pharmacist, says the bill would help curb the abuse of opioids and other controlled substances.

“I’ve so blatantly had people hand me a handwritten prescription the doctor wrote for 10 sleeping pills basically and they changed the one to a four,” Greene says. “Easy change.”

The Board of Pharmacy has suggested all prescriptions be made electronically by July of 2019. Lobbyists for the medical community say 17 months might not be enough time for providers, especially in rural areas, to get the proper software in place. Greene and other senators may try to advance the bill, but put in longer lag time before it takes effect.

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