New York goes paperless for prescriptions, hailed in fight against opiate addiction

Mar 28, 2016

A new method of prescribing medication is in effect in New York. As of yesterday, paper prescriptions will no longer be hand-written by doctors or accepted by pharmacies across the state.

Credit WBFO File Photo

The change is part of the two-phase I-STOP law, which began in 2013 with an online registry.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the law has transformed the way the state is fighting the scourge of opiate addiction.

“Paper prescriptions had become a form of criminal currency that can be traded even more easily than the drugs themselves. That’s why when I authored the I-STOP law, one of my main goal was to reduce the value of stolen or forged paper prescriptions,” said Schneiderman.

With the program’s first phase, medical providers can see the details of patients’ histories and check if a history of drug abuse exists before providing medication.

Schneiderman said that by moving to the e-prescribing system New York will curb incidents of criminal acts and reduce errors from misinterpretation of handwriting on prescriptions.

“I am pleased that the e-prescribing portion of the I-STOP law is now going to be fully implemented to provide both doctors and law enforcement with the tools they need to meet patient needs without fueling the vicious cycle of addiction,” said Schneiderman.

Paper prescriptions will be accepted, but only in limited situations like disasters and electrical or computer failures.