AAOS November 27, 2018
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State Corner: Pennsylvania
E-Prescribing Bill Signed
Into Law

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State Corner: Pennsylvania E-Prescribing Bill Signed Into Law

Despite Pennsylvania’s ongoing legislative efforts to halt the opioid addiction crisis, legislators previously did not realize that controlled substance prescriptions were mandated by state law to be handwritten. The Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society (POS) brought this statutory deficiency to the fore, and Rep. Tedd Nesbit and State Sen. Richard Alloway (R-Franklin) quickly introduced vital legislation to prevent opioid prescriptions from being lost, stolen, altered, or sold. Last month, HB 353 passed the Pennsylvania State Legislature and was recently signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.

Orthopaedic surgeons are the fourth leading opioid prescribers in Pennsylvania. One of the best ways to ensure that prescriptions for opioids are tightly controlled is through electronic means. Opioid e-prescribing will undoubtedly reduce drug diversion due to prescriptions being lost, stolen, or sold.

POS’s short-term goal was the enactment of HB 353 and elimination of a major source of drug diversion due to written prescriptions being lost, stolen, altered, or sold.  POS’s intermediate goal is for this legislation to pave the way for effective communication among all players in the health care delivery system including patients, physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, insurers, and governmental entities to continue battling the crisis.  POS’s long-term goal is to demonstrate to lawmakers that the opioid addiction crisis is not a “bad doctor” issue, but a complicated crisis with many actors at fault.  POS wants to show that orthopaedic surgeons are part of the solution, not the problem.

The AAOS Board of Councilor’s State Legislative and Regulatory Issues (SLRI) committee supported the effort with grants.

Read the final enacted law here.
Read the impacts of the bill here.

POS President Asif Ilyas, MD, (right) participated in the ceremonial bill
signing of HB 353 with Governor Tom Wolf (left).