For many Americans, filling a prescription is a simple matter. It often takes no more than placing an online order and waiting for the prescription to be completed. Until recently, this convenience was denied to patients with prescriptions for certain powerful painkillers and sedatives. Thanks to newly-adopted federal regulations providers are now allowed to fill many prescriptions for controlled substances electronically, but the transition is happening slowly because of concerns about drug abuse. Dr. Peter Kaufman, a gastroenterologist with Capital Digestive Care and Chief Medical Officer for DrFirst, recently joined a panel on WAMU’s “Kojo Nnamdi Show” to talk about how this new initiative could affect doctors and patients.
Dr. Kaufman explained that prescribing controlled substances is a complex procedure because doctors use various means to write prescriptions to keep the process safe. He said certain drugs are not considered good options for prescriptions, but access to other controlled substances can be managed through different schedules and requirements. Dr. Kaufman also explained that in some circumstances, electronic prescriptions can actually help to deter prescription abuse. Hear the full interview online.