Pharmacies in New York lag behind their clinical counterparts in preparing for new legislation aimed at reducing over-prescribing, according to an analysis by medication management platform developer DrFirst.

The legislation, known as New York’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP), takes effect March 27. It requires that all patient medications be electronically prescribed, including controlled substances and non-controlled substances (commonly referred to as “legend drugs”).

"The data illustrates that the majority of electronic health records (EHRs) and stand-alone e-prescribing systems used by doctors to electronically prescribe medications will be able to support both legend drug e-prescribing (eRx) and controlled substance e-prescribing (EPCS) in advance of the I-STOP deadline," DrFirst executives said.

The company's analysis of the marketplace indicates that, at present, ambulatory EHRs serving approximately 80 percent of New York providers in practices and health systems, and acute EHRs serving approximately 85 percent of New York hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other acute care environments, have both eRx and EPCS capabilities either already live or on target to be available to users in advance of the deadline.

However, the analysis also discovered pharmacy readiness for the law appears somewhat behind: while 97 percent of New York pharmacies are currently eRx-ready, only 58 percent of New York pharmacies are also EPCS-ready at this time. “On the face of it, this seems concerning,” said DrFirst President G. Cameron Deemer. “However, we have seen pharmacy EPCS-readiness in New York increase more than 80 percent over the last several months and if strong growth persists it is likely that most pharmacies will be able to support EPCS prescriptions under I-STOP.”

The Medical Society of the State of New York recently endorsed DrFirst as its recommended e-prescribing software vendor.

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