Controlled Substance Prescriptions After the New E-Prescription Regulations

Document Type


Publication Date



The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued regulations authorizing electronic prescriptions (e-prescriptions) for controlled substances; the regulations first became effective on June 1, 2010. Overshadowed by the health care reform legislation enacted by Congress earlier that year, these groundbreaking regulations have been overlooked by many in the health care community. To focus attention on these new regulations, this article first describes e-prescribing costs and benefits that are expected to accrue, not only to the pharmacist, but also to the DEA, prescribers, and the general public. This information will allow independent pharmacy owners and supervising pharmacists at institutions to make more informed decisions as to whether to implement e-prescriptions for controlled substances. In addition, this article explains how the new e-prescription rules are integrated into the preexisting controlled substance regulations, providing a comprehensive overview of the pharmacist's obligations when presented with any type of controlled substance prescription. This approach is intended to make these new regulations more accessible to all pharmacists, but especially to those who are new to the profession.