Say good-bye to old paper prescriptions

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 09:01:06-04

The State of New York is getting rid of the paper prescriptions that doctors write.

Starting March 27, 2016 doctors across the state will have to electronically send prescriptions to pharmacies.
This move by state lawmakers is the next step of New York’s I-STOP Initiative. They are hoping this new way of writing prescriptions will cut down on the amount of fraud and drug abuse.

More than 60,000 prescribers are already e-prescribing and prescribers continue to register their certified software with the New York State Department of Health. Parker Pharmacy on Hertel in Buffalo has been using the system for a while now.

Pharmacist Christine Vanhouten said criminals will now have a hard time committing prescription fraud. “You know there is no more patient trying to change quantities you know crossing out numbers,” Vanhouten said.

Western New York has been dealing with a huge heroin problem. Some people think this could be part of the solution. “I think that it’s a good idea because if people are getting multiple scripts that means that they have a problem,” Buffalo resident Alema Gill said.

Before leaving the doctor’s office, patients would have to tell the doctor which pharmacy he or she wants the prescription sent to. The doctor’s office would then send the script online to that location. When the patient arrives to the drug store, the pharmacist will ask for identity information, in order to give the patient his or her prescription. 

Pharmacists say it will cut down on unnecessary paperwork. However, glitches do happen and Vanhouten has a word for the wise.

“I think all patients should be aware of what medications the doctor has prescribed for them and what the medication is for,” Vanhouten said.

She said this would help patients if they experience an issue where they are given the wrong medication.

For more on New York’s “I-STOP Initiative” click here.